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A Hole in a Fence - documentary DVD / independently produced DVD review
A HOLE IN A FENCE Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt
Director: D.W. Young   Distributor: First Run Features
DVD release: 09 December 2008   Runtime: 46 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English), Bonus short film: Views from the Red Hook Grain Terminal, Red Hook photo gallery, Extended interview, Resources, Trailer gallery

Our image of Brooklyn-of New York City in general-is of wall-to-wall people. But, as filmmaker D.W. Young discovered, there are plenty of wide-open spaces in the city. You just have to know where to look. Like through a hole in a fence.

The hole in question gapes in a fence surrounding an abandoned industrial area in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. A home for the homeless and a canvass for graffiti artists, the open space behind the hole in the fence becomes a sounding board for a young architect (Benjamin Uyeda) and filmmaker. In A Hole in a Fence, Young explores issues of class, urban development, the renewal of nature and a host of other issues.

Using impromptu street interviews as well as more formal ones, Young collects a vast array of opinion in a very short film. Central to the film is the survival of the abandoned lot and other features of the Red Hook industrial waterfront landscape, as an Ikea superstore is going in nearby. Will the Ikea bring jobs and economic development, as developers promise, or will it bring out-of-town traffic to congest the neighborhood, and will the profits from the store leave the area?

A Hole in a Fence doesn't offer pat answers. Rather, it excels at exploration through dialogue. This film is an example of what so many communities in our changing society need: more open discussion of the issues of development, especially as they affect low-income residents. More, the film is beautifully photographed, well-edited and full of intellectual challenges. Highly recommended for all those interested in the future of the urban landscape, the renewal of cast-off buildings and spaces, and the intersection of class and identity.

The DVD has an additional bonus film, "Views from Red Hook Grain Terminal"; Photo Gallery; Extended Interviews; Resources; Trailer.
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reviewed by Brian Charles Clark
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