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PBIFF ’14 Review – “Coney Island: Dreams For Sale”

May 1, 2014

Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 6.49.21 PMI haven’t been to Coney Island since I was a wee lad. My memory of the New York famed fun-land has faded, which is a shame, given the integral history it has given New Yorkers. Filmmaker Alessandra Giordano takes audiences on journey about the history, the people, and the troubles Coney Island faces about surviving its current stance.

The world renowned Coney Island was once a magnificent amusement park, a toast to New Yorkers everywhere. It has survived many battles, but now faces its biggest enemy: corporate greed. The community of local business owners and amusement activists band together to take down the misguided local politicians and crooked business men that want nothing more than to tear down a classic and historical location and transform it into a small version of Vegas. Sometimes, it’s not just about the money.

The film follows vast amounts of interesting characters; Lola, owner of her personal clothing line, Dick, the ‘unofficial Mayor of Coney Island’, and many more. Each share a love and passion for their local community and fight for the right to stay. The creativity in each individual inspires a sense of hope in the small business owner, and not just the ones who work in Coney Island, I mean every where.

The films antagonistic villain if you will, Joe Sitt of Thor Equities, shows his true nature fairly quickly and for most it should not be a surprise how major business is handled, especially in the metro counties of America; buy land, flip it, and do NOTHING! The locals will to fight for what they believe in is encouraging for this born and bread East coaster, granted I’m from New Jersey, but I’m still a believer damnit.

Alessandra manages to tell the story in a thoughtful manner and finds creative/unique methods about getting the peoples message across. Hats off to her for sticking by the people of Coney Island, spanning what could almost be a decade of filming, at least it could feel that way.

GRADE: A-

Aaron Shore, is a contributing blogger for the film sites of Hudak on Hollywood & Midnight Reviews.

You can follow Aaron on Twitter @DoubleAAProd

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