Radiant City

It’s hip to hate the suburbs. After all, people who live there have a harder time partaking in cultural activities since these all take place in bigger urban centres. Who wants to commute to culture when they already commute to work?

Director Gary Burns and journalist Jim Brown take on the task of tearing down the suburbs while looking at it through the eyes of families who live in these cookie-cutter communities. While a lot of the facts and arguments revealed throughout this documentary are relevant, it seems too easy to blame the structure of the ‘burbs for the lack of neighbourliness that they apparently hold.

In fact, this very lack of activity that they complain about is precisely what inspires many suburban creative types to build their own suburban arts communities. If you want something, and it isn’t handed to you on a platter, you have to build it yourself. How many bands, zines, filmmakers and artists have come out of the suburbs, and can credit that uninspiring atmosphere for pushing their very existence? Plenty.

But maybe that’s not interesting. It’s more interesting to pretend that all moms want their kids to live safe, anticeptic lives in the suburbs, and that all kids see through this and want out of the cage. (Lindsay Gibb)

Dir. Jim Brown & Gary Burns


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