In an age when political activism is experiencing a major revival, from women's rights marches to tax protests, we're all in need of a little guidance when it comes to how to make a real difference. And if you're feeling a tad fatigued from all the upheaval, as many people are, what better way to re-up on confidence and motivation than to watch a movie about a woman who accomplished plenty through her own form of activism decades ago?
That's why we should all see Citizen Jane: Battle For the City, a new documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer that spotlights spunky journalist Jane Jacobs, who fought against the larger-than-life forces of urban development in New York City in the '60s — helping to preserve the beloved Washington Square Park, among other places.
The thrust of the film is about Jacobs taking on urban planner Robert Moses — a money-driven titan some have compared to Trump — and helping to thwart his efforts to bulldoze much of Manhattan and cover it with concrete housing projects and superhighways. And while Jacobs succeeds in many tangible, triumphant ways, what might hit viewers harder than Jacobs rescuing New York City from ruin is just how oddly relevant and "now" the movie and its themes feel in 2017.
Citizen Jane opens, fittingly, in New York City theaters on April 21 followed by a dozen other theaters around the U.S. (find the full list of locations here). If you don't get a chance to catch the film on the big screen, stay tuned for an update here on where you can stream it once it becomes available online.
If you take nothing else away from the movie, simply be inspired by Jacobs's fight against a real estate magnate with far more money (and arguably power) than she. It's a much-needed reminder that our voices, while small on their own, become much louder and more effective when we unite.