In Jackson Heights

In Jackson Heights is the most joyful feature by master documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, celebrating not only the title neighborhood in Queens but American life in all its diversity. The film’s design evokes that of a sprawling patchwork quilt, with scenes focusing on the immigrant experience, LGBT activism, municipal governance, the serenity of old age, working life, and more. Wiseman touches on such dark topics as police brutality and the exploitation of migrants, yet he manages to put a positive spin on them, recording citizens’ groups as they look for constructive solutions. Rarely do movies present the democratic process with such warmth and optimism. Wiseman inspires affection for many of his subjects, and this generous feeling gains in intensity as the community portrait grows richer. These people are interdependent, gaining from their diversity. Continue reading>>