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PBS to screen ‘In Jackson Heights’ tonight, 3-hour documentary about neighborhood

Source: PBS

Jan. 6, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

Jackson Heights will get a moment in the spotlight tonight.

The most recent documentary from Academy Award winning director Frederick Wiseman called ‘In Jackson Heights,’ which focuses on the character and issues of the neighborhood, will air on PBS tonight at 9 p.m.

The film focuses on Jackson Heights as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country and a microcosm of America’s melting pot. It examines issues of diversity, assimilation, integration, immigration, and religious and cultural differences.

Throughout the film, Wiseman visits local community hubs and speaks to community members about what it is like trying to maintain cultural traditions along side American values. He focuses on issues of immigration and gentrification, both huge issues on the minds of many Jackson Heights residents.

It also features local politicians, highlighting Councilman Daniel Dromm and other community leaders.

The documentary was released in late 2015 to generally positive reviews.

The New York Times named it a Critic’s Pick, calling it “a thrilling, transporting love letter from Frederick Wiseman to New York and its multi-everything glory.”

It has a 95 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes, a site that examines film reviews uses them to rate films.

The three-hour film will air on PBS at 9 p.m. tonight. 

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Vandis Narazzi

It is long and boring. It really shows what a crappy neighborhood this has become. What was one the idea of a melting pot has become multi cultural crap showcased here for all to see. Sad!

Big text

Wiseman is not a wise man. Jackson heights is terrible. It fell apart in the early 80s. The Colombian and cubans that came here ruined it with crime and drugs. Its not a beautiful story about people coming here for a good life, they came here to continue and expand their illegal acts. This is not good . Our once great neighborhood is now ruined

Old timers rule

WTF would anybody want to sit thru 3 hrs if jackson heights? Maybe from the 1900s to about 1978 after that the place started turning into a 3rd world jungle


Frederick Wiseman has made many great documentaries. This is is not – boring, repetitive, focus on a small number of people and groups.


For all the talk of promoting diversity, the film threw in their islamophobia. Muslims were seen violently killing animals, not talking except to have children repeat koranic verses. The film ends with a Latino worker complaining that his boss exploits him because he speaks Spanish[ as opposed to because he is illegal]. He is asked twice what nationality the exploiting boss is [why does that matter in a film celebrating diversity?] and he answers that the food is Italian.But the inquiring person is not satisfied with that answer but asks if the person is Greek .The man answers they pray trice a day. “Oh Muslims”; is the reply heard! [It’s those nasty Muslims is implied in that filmed comment].
I’ve lived in Jackson heights since I was 13. I recall when it was full of ignorant Irish Americans whose mantra was; this is America ;we speak English here! The best thing the Latinos have done is to not by into such narrow minded stupidity as they have clung to their language and their culture. However they have their faults too; you can walk into a Latino owned business ; wait your turn in line only to have the clerk by pass you to serve a Spanish speaking customer. Or they can ignore you totally as they chat away with a fellow Latino/.Latino men will too often spit on the streets as women [ non Latinos walk by. The film showed most of the people looking depressed; the only ones who came across as vivacious and fun were the east Asians in the segment about taxi ed. The Spanish speakers came across as loving to hear themselves talk repeating themselves,and saying what was obvious or could have been said more succinctly. They came across as dry and humorless.


You seem to be an ignorant American. I lived in Elmhurst for many years. The comments about this documentary disgust me.

Daniel Stone

1 hour into a 3 hr doc – great footage but unwatchable – where’s the story telling? Frederick Wiseman (as good as you are) you need a talented producer/editor… we need a recut with a solid point of view – there are a lot of great stories here..


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