VANCOUVER PREMIERE ► “Detropia, a lyrical film about the destruction of a great American city, is the most moving documentary I’ve seen in years. The city is Detroit and the film, made by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (who is a native), is both an ardent love letter to past vitality and a grateful salute to those who remain in place — the survivors, utterly without illusions, who refuse to leave. Detropia has its share of forlorn images: office buildings with empty eye sockets for windows; idle, rotting factories, with fantastic networks of chutes, pipes, and stacks. Yet the filmmakers are so attuned to colour and to shape that I was amazed by the handsomeness of what I was seeing. I’m not being perverse: this is a beautiful film. Ruins, of course, often strike us as magnificent. In Detropia, we’re looking at American ruins, and we feel awe, but here it’s mixed with disbelief and shock. This city didn’t fall victim to warfare or weather. It was abandoned ... In 2006, Ewing and Grady made Jesus Camp, a documentary portrait of evangelic youth that was more cautionary than celebratory. This time, they are looking for the spiritual element in economic life... . By the end of movie, the filmmakers’ aestheticism turns into an explicit promise of renewal” (David Denby, The New Yorker). Colour, HDCAM. 90 mins.