Saturday, May 4, 2013

Koch


I love documentaries about amazing people who led extraordinary lives.  And Ed Koch was an amazing man who changed New York City for the better in so many ways.  As Mayor between 1978 and 1989 he brought New York City out of bankruptcy, reduced crime, transformed Times Square, revitalized the housing market, championed gay rights when it was extremely unpopular to do so, and generally just did whatever he felt was right regardless of the consequences.  New York City was his life.  And he is greatly responsible for its extraordinary transformation over the last 35 years.  I can only hope that Philadelphia will one day soon get a Mayor even close to as effective and honest.

This documentary features a lot of archival footage but is also greatly enhanced by getting Koch's own participation at 86 years of age.  You get to hear first hand of how he views his reign in hindsight.  It is both tragic and poetic that he passed away on the very day this film opened, 2/1/13.  The man is gone but his legacy continues.  And, to respond to his trademark question, "How am I doing?"  You did great, Ed.  Rest in peace. 

Grade: A-

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