Unrated; 90 min.
City decay has never looked so eerily beautiful as in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's Detropia, which artfully -- perhaps too artfully -- illustrates the transformation of the Motor City from a middle-class utopia to an urban nightmare of blight, crime and fleeing residents.
It's like watching a National Geographic show about archaeological ruins from some long-lost era: the torn-down houses, the abandoned factories, the crumbling buildings.
There are voices of brave residents here, but the incredibly shot landscapes of Detroit, which drive the engine of this poetic documentary, leave much more of an impression.
We are left to ponder whether this nightmare might be a harbinger of America's economic prospects. And that is a scary thought.
Exclusive: The Texas Theatre, Dallas
-- David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle