Currently in the final funding stages is a documentary titled BURN: One Year on the Frontlines of the Battle to Save Detroit. In the film they explore the relentless fight against the seemingly endless rash of arsons that have plagued the city for years. Original home of “Devil’s Night”, where the city would burn annually, Detroit has always had a history with fire. This is the story of some of the men and women who fight these fires…
This comes from the movie’s official website:
“WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS; IT SHALL RISE FROM THE ASHES.”
– FATHER GABRIEL RICHARD, WHO WROTE DETROIT’S MOTTO AFTER FIRE NEARLY DESTROYED THE CITY IN 1805
Detroit is an iconic city. Go anywhere in the world, say “Detroit,” and it strikes a set of images — Motown. Hockeytown. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors. Eminem, 8 Mile … Also crime, foreclosures, poverty, white flight, race … and fire.
But these are mere snapshots, glimpses into a deeper, more complex panorama.
Once the proud center of the American industrial machine — its cars gleamed, its culture was rich, its future boundless. Now, it is an omen, a ghost of America’s future. No one understands this better than the people literally putting out the fires, battling every day in an uncertain war.
BURN is a character-driven documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of Detroiters who are on the front lines, trying to rescue and rebuild it. BURN will follow the firefighters, the men and women charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead. We’ll also look at the educators, the reformers, the activists, the enthusiasts — those who have the vision and the heart to bring a forgotten American dream back to Detroit.
The Detroit Fire Department is one of the oldest, proudest fire forces in the world, and certainly one of the busiest.
Every day, these firefighters face injury, disablement, illness, death. But still they come back, day after day, resolved that they can make a difference.
The city’s future is uncertain — record foreclosures, unemployment, and a struggling auto industry have made it ground zero of the floundering American economy. But there’s still life here. And people are listening. These firefighters and a cast of visionary citizens argue that it’s worth saving, and they’re fighting the battle with unparalleled commitment and a remarkable sense of humor.
BURN will embed with Detroit firefighters and follow a rich tapestry of other Detroit stories. We’ll explore human struggles, hope and personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Until now, no one has properly explored the city with the depth and detail it deserves.
Among the filmmakers is not only a native Detroiter, Brenna Sanchez, but it’s also produced by Resuce Me star Dennis Leary…
This project was brought to my attention by one of Detroit’s Bravest, my uncle, David Kronner, who has been with the department for just shy of 24 years. And while Uncle Dave isn’t directly involved in the movie, he respects the message behind and it. To get that message out however, they’re still in need of some funding. PBS fronted the cash to produce this 9 minute trailer here. Take a look…
I’ve spoken with the filmmakers, who hope to have the movie done by late summer/early fall, but that will only be possible through additional donations. To help out…
And while we plan to keep you updated on the progress of the production, you can visit the official website at DETROIT FIRE FILM, and you can follow them (obviously) on Facebook and Twitter.