Screening Room: ‘In Jackson Heights’

Manhattan is just a half-hour away. (Zipporah Films)
Manhattan is just a half-hour away. (Zipporah Films)

The latest nonfiction opus from Frederick Wiseman is a portrait of the mind-bogglingly diverse Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens (167 languages at last count). It’s a rich and endlessly fascinating study of what multicultural America really looks like.

In Jackson Heights is playing now in limited release and should make its way to PBS within the next year or so. My review is at PopMatters:

Frederick Wiseman’s In Jackson Heights doesn’t just celebrate a neighborhood; it immerses you in it. A working-class neighborhood in Queens, about a half-hour’s subway ride from Manhattan, Jackson Heights features a patchwork of ethnicities and an ever-transitioning gateway for immigrants looking to get a toehold in America. Home to so many thousands of the documented and undocumented immigrants living alongside a stewpot of native-borns, Jackson Heights is a living civics laboratory for the ever-evolving American experiment…

Here’s the trailer:

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