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The Detroit Renaissance: Embers In the Ashes [Directed by Myron Watkins]

After recently attending the Film/Play Festival that took place in Detroit a few weeks ago, there is no longer any doubt in my mind whether or not Detroit is thriving.

During this event, so many independent cinematographers came out to showcase their work, bringing forth materials that were inspiring, comical, and thought-provoking to say the least. However, there was one piece of work that stood out amongst them all, and that was “The Embers in the Ashes”, directed by Myron Watkins.

After watching this film, one cannot help but gain new insight and understanding of what really is going on in the city of Detroit. From music, to art, to ballet and break dancing, Detroit is filled with all types of artistic expression and is quickly motioning itself towards a new Renaissance.

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“Who is Detroit? What is Detroit?”

These are the questions that are brought forth in this short film.

Originally, Detroit has been known as the “Motor City” or “Motown”, however, those titles no longer really describe the spirit and vibe that now fills the city. There are now new creators, new souls with new ideas and inventions that are trying to make a name for themselves. Who are we to ignore them?

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“I don’t know how you guys perceive us, but I’m having one hell of a time. I’m still here,” states Xavier Owens, one of the cinematographers that helped film this short film. “Detroit?…. there’s so much that goes on. I don’t think the media can keep up.”

If one thing is for sure, Detroit is definitely more than what it is perceived to be. For so long, Detroit has been broadcasted as a broken and desolate city, with no real acknowledgement of the growth and rebuilding that is also taking place here. With so much creativity thriving throughout the city, how could anyone, especially the media, fail to see it all?

If anyone truly wants to see Detroit for what it truly is, I would highly urge them to watch this film and then take a stroll downtown and see for yourself the spirit that lives here. Though we have much history here, we are still trying to find ourselves, and one cannot help but ask “What will Detroit become? What will Detroit look like 10 years from now?” As Myron has suggested, the answer is completely up to you.


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