Former Mayor Ed Koch is the quintessential New Yorker. Still ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, the now 88-year-old Koch ruled New York from 1978 to 1989—a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted a revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. His three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world’s most wondrous city.
- Neil Barsky
- Run Time
- 1 hour 35 minutes
New York may be a safer, cleaner and less argumentative place than it was in the 1980s, but he remains as contentious, as mischievous and at times as inflammatory as ever.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 01.31.2013
A highlight-to-lowlight chronicle of the man's three terms as mayor, and in the case of any other mayor, such a narrow focus might have seemed reductive.Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 02.06.2013
Though the film, more than two years in the making, was never intended as such, it plays like the kind of eulogy Koch would have approved - neither fawning nor eviscerating but always compelling.Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 02.28.2013
If unlikely to change anyone's mind about its subject, it's an effective primer on a voluble and charismatic mayor who embodied the spirit of the city he loved.Nick Schager, Village Voice, 01.29.2013