Street Fight | Chicago Reader

Street Fight

Video maker Marshall Curry could argue with some credibility that he drove five-term Newark mayor Sharpe James out of office: this gripping, Oscar-nominated documentary (2005) presents such a scathing portrait of the veteran Jersey pol he must have realized his days were numbered when he declined to seek a sixth term. The video chronicles the bitter 2002 race between James and Cory Booker, a bright and articulate young city councilman who ran as a reform candidate, and alleges that James used a variety of underhanded (and possibly illegal) tactics to win the election. Because Curry was stonewalled by the James campaign, his video is hopelessly skewed toward Booker (who handily won the mayoralty in 2006), but it's still a sobering look at how an entrenched incumbent can crush a challenger. 83 min.

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