Movie Reflection: Street Fight (2005)


Street fight is a 2005 documentary directed and produced by Marshall Curry. The documentary provides details different events that happened before the election for the Newark Mayor, New Jersey. This was a heated election that was fought between Cory Booker and Sharp James in 2002. The documentary is primarily based on the energetic campaign by Cory Booker who was a young challenger to the then Mayor Sharp James. The movies has provided a perspective about how difficult it is for people belonging to minority in Newark to participate in political runs. It can be seen throughout the movie that James is using all tactics both ethical and unethical to defeat Booker. There are video recordings shown in the documentary in which the police and other city employees are trying to close businesses that have been participating in collecting donations for Bookers campaign. Many city workers that are reported to be siding by Booker are demoted to lower positions. The documentary has made video evidence of the city police clearly supporting James. In one of the scenes, the documentary makers are attacked by police and prevented to record a video clip of James. In all, the movie provides an insight into how dirty politics are played in the USA and how some people are prevented from running for public offices.


            This movie has provided me an overview in to how a democratic process can be made ugly. I have always been a great admirer of the American democratic system and always longed for such a system in my region. But this movies has made me think that there are times when democracies may also become dysfunctional. All over then world we see many dictatorships and democracies. But are the democracies really functional? I don’t think so. We should be able to always fight for our rights of free expression and do not let the countries that we live in become police states in which there we would not be allowed to talk freely about our rights. Everyone must have the freedom to stand for any public position and be allowed to freely give it his/her best shot. I know that it is difficult most of the times to talk against powerful rules who most of the times are dictators but may also become rules through dysfunctional democracies. But then keeping shut would be just like living in North Korea. We should always defend our rights and the right of others to make the world a better place to live in. Booker stood strong and there were people who stood by his side. The lesson here for us is to never give up because in the next election i.e. 2006, Booker stood again to fight the election and won this election to become the Mayor of Newark.