*”Brick City,” the award-winning documentary set in Newark, NJ and follows its mayor Cory booker, will premiere its second season Jan. 30 on the Sundance Channel, reports the Associated Press. [Watch trailer below.]
Newark’s fiscal crisis is an undercurrent running through the six-part series, which will be shown on consecutive Sundays through March 6. The first two episodes were obtained by The Associated Press.
Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, the series’ executive producer, called it a chronicle of “the frontline dramas of a city struggling to move forward in this time of economic crisis.”
As in the first season, which won a Peabody Award, the series toggles between Booker’s unflagging optimism in the face of crushing financial pressures and the saga of young people struggling to shed the gang influences that have shattered the lives of so many around them.
Interspersed are scenes that reflect a rising tone of discontent among some city residents who rail at Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy over crime and unemployment in New Jersey’s largest city. In one, a crowd awaiting convicted former Mayor Sharpe James’ return from federal prison gathers at the train station and chants, “Bye-bye Cory!”
The city’s money woes crop up frequently. Booker asks then-city business administrator Michelle Thomas what can be done to avoid cuts to the police and fire departments and tells her and others, “If it stinks, kill it; if it jiggles, cut it.”
Later, he sounds a more ominous tone: “Let’s deliver the pain now and then we have the most hellish year of our life to live through.”
Season 1 tracked the progress of inactive gang members Dashaun “Jiwe” Morris and Jayda “Ru” Jacques as they sought to raise their respective families. Season 2 finds both involved in counseling teenagers to avoid the lure of the streets.
His involvement with gangs from a young age sidetracked a promising football career, Morris tells a group of high school players leaving him with “nothing to show but tattoos with dead homeys, nightmares and obituaries.”
Morris has plenty to worry about in Season 2: An attempted murder charge that will force him to choose between a plea deal that would send him to prison for six years or a trial that could result in a much longer sentence.