Film » Film Features

Opening: Koch


Neil Barsky’s documentary about former New York City major Ed Koch commences in 1977 as the city is on the verge of bankruptcy. Abe Beame was mayor and Koch was running against him as an underdog among seven different candidates. By 1981, New York is booming and Koch is reelected by a landslide, landing on the cover of Time magazine as “the man who runs New York.” Koch, who describes himself as a “liberal with sanity,” is a crafty politician who ultimately embraces business as he spearheads the transformation of Time Square and then finds a way to gentrify the Bronx. A former Wall Street Journal reporter, Barksy not only does a good job of depicting the strife that existed in New York during the late ’70s, but he also paints a fascinating portrait of a political leader who wasn’t afraid to go against the grain and take on striking transit workers and shut down a Harlem hospital (a decision Koch says he now regrets). Cedar Lee Theatre.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.