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MEGAMALL: Money, Power and Politics in the Age of Sprawl

A FEATURE-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE 20-YEAR CONTROVERSY BEHIND ONE OF AMERICA’S BIGGEST SHOPPING MALLS (CO-PRODUCED WITH TURNSTONE PRODUCTIONS)

Synopsis

The story kicks off when the biggest mall developer in the Northeast comes to the smallest county in New York to build its largest mall yet on a toxic dump, one mile from the filmmakers’ homes. That move sparked a citizen uprising that lasted almost 20 years. It also inspired MEGAMALL, the filmmakers’ quest to understand the dramatic events unfolding right in their backyards. This feature-length documentary investigates the origins of one of the country’s biggest shopping malls, and its impact on the suburban community of Rockland County, New York. Featured throughout the film is provocative commentary from leading urban critics and writers James Howard Kunstler (The Geography of Nowhere), Roberta Brandes-Gratz (Malling the Northeast – New York Times Magazine), and real estate economist Donovan Rypkema. MEGAMALL is the story of ordinary Americans who confront the overwhelming forces that are changing the face of our nation — and our world.

DIrected and Produced by Sarah Mondale, Vera Aronow and Roger Grange

Praise for Megamall

  • See this film, get mad, and then get involved.

    - Bill Moyers, Journalist and Public Commentator

  • - Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

  • An engaging drama with a strong point of view as well as a sense of humor. MEGAMALL is calm, credible and at the same time, maddening.

    - John Paul Newport, Writer

  • An objective inquiry into how politics, planning and policy intersect…A story worth learning from.

    - Dr. Thomas Cicino, Dept. of Political Science, Northeastern University

  • A startling series of lessons for small towns in America.

    - Robert Dorgan, Director - Institute for Small Town Studies

  • Outstanding… The film delivers a strong message.

    - Greg Andranovich, Professor of Political Science, California State University, Los Angeles

  • Everyone who cares about the quality of life and local control over land use should see it –an inspiration for all communities.

    - Emil Pocock, Professor of History and American Studies, Eastern Connecticut State University

SCREENINGS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

The film has been screened in film festivals around the world, universities, schools, libraries and other venues. It is used widely by groups seeking to learn from this cautionary tale about how to confront and control the forces behind development in their communities.

On Screen Personalities

JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER - Author

James Howard Kunstler is a novelist and the author of books about suburban sprawl and America’s built environment. His work includes the classic The Geography of Nowhere, as well as Home from Nowhere and The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition.

ROBERTA BRANDES GRATZ

Roberta Brandes Gratz is an award-winning journalist, urban critic, and author whose books include We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City, The Battle For Gotham, the now classic The Living City, and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown.

MAJOR FUNDING FOR MEGAMALL PROVIDED BY

The Community Arts Grants program of the Arts Council of Rockland

The Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts
and a generous grant secured by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee

The Preservation League of New York State

The generous support of numerous concerned citizens

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