You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit

The pro-Detroit docu "Burn" never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city's running-on-empty status.

Cast:
With: Donald Austin, Brendan "Doogie" Milewski, Dave Parnell, Craig Dougherty, Dave Miller, Jeff Urbas, Chris Palm, Dennis Hunter, Terrell Hardaway.

Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the engrossing, courageously lensed pic also never mentions the possibility of large-scale structural solutions to Detroit’s infernal condition, which makes the working-class heroes’ risking of lives and limbs look even more gallant. Theatrical prospects appear unlikely, but “Burn” is plenty hot enough to spark smallscreen sales.

Spanning a year, the film depicts many harrowing conflagrations — some resulting in tragedy — as well as the arrival from Los Angeles of a new fire commissioner whose unapologetically bottom-line-minded decisions brand him as insensitive in some quarters. Interviews with firefighters, who speak articulately about camaraderie, heroism, adrenaline and low compensation, make the docu’s subsequent action even more compelling. Briskly paced film gets added fuel from vintage proto-punk tunes by Iggy and the Stooges.

Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit

Production: A General Motors, Goldcrest Films, Apostle and TBVE presentation. (International sales: Goldcrest, London.) Produced by Brenna Sanchez, Tom Putnam. Executive producers, Denis Leary, Jim Serpico, Steve Tihanyi, Morgan Neville. Directed by Tom Putnam, Brenna Sanchez.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Mark Eaton, Nicola B. Marsh, Matt Pappas; editors, Kevin Jones, Morgan Stiff, Miranda Yousef; music, BC Smith, Alessandro Cortini. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Viewpoints), April 23, 2012. Running time: 86 MIN.

Cast: With: Donald Austin, Brendan "Doogie" Milewski, Dave Parnell, Craig Dougherty, Dave Miller, Jeff Urbas, Chris Palm, Dennis Hunter, Terrell Hardaway.

More Scene

  • GLSEN Respect Awards

    Gay Actors Talk Sexual Harassment at GLSEN Awards: 'It Definitely Happens'

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • 'The Breadwinner' film premiere

    Angelina Jolie Talks 'The Breadwinner' at AIF Fest: Women's Rights 'Remain a Central Burning Issue'

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • Made By Google

    Rashida Jones, Jaden Smith and More Stars Party at Made by Google Opening Night

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • Todd Haynes, Jaden Michael, Sandy Powell

    'Wonderstruck' Director Todd Haynes Emphasizes Importance of Film's Score: It's 'Almost a Character'

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel

    Elizabeth Olsen, Jane Rosenthal Demand Justice for Sexual Assault Victims at Chanel Tribeca Lunch

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' film

    Tyler Perry Hopes 'Boo 2!' Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation's 'Darkness'

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

  • 'Geostorm' film premiere

    'Geostorm' Director Hopes Harvey Weinstein Scandal Signals 'Sea Change' for Hollywood

    Co-presented by General Motors, the pro-Detroit docu “Burn” never once mentions the auto industry, but nonetheless vividly illustrates the city’s running-on-empty status, with its rates of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and arson being among the highest in the nation. Focusing on a handful of firefighters tasked with extinguishing flames in already dilapidated and abandoned residences, the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content