• Strictly Films

City Hall (NYFF 2020); Grade: B-


Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years New York Film Festival! Our next film on the block: City Hall.


City Hall is an epic documentary film at a running time of four hours and thirty minutes, covering Boston’s government lead by mayor Marty Walsh. We’ll be seeing how Marty Walsh handles many duties in the city, regarding budget plans, taking care of communities in the city, racial justice, housing, and more.


If City Hall wasn’t included in my documentary package, best believe I wouldn’t have partaken in this heavy lengthy documentary feature. Having said that: This was a cool watch. The film making is well shot, as it features coverage of the city, Marty Walsh conversing with city officials, the police, and the communities. Some lovely shots of the city, kind of felt like I was on a tour experiencing the city of Boston.


Substance wise... It kept my interest. It does open ones eyes as to how much work a mayor does, a police department does, and city officials too. Especially a mayor where one is literally all over the place, I mean Marty Walsh rarely ever has time off, as he caters towards everyone conversing what needs to be done in order for Boston to be the best and safest city in the country. The budgeting factor in just how to run the cost of a city was also very intriguing, though the city wishes to attend to every area that needs improvement, it’s honestly difficult to do so all at once because other areas need attending to. It really takes a whole lot of time and patience, to be able to get everything done, so I was invested in just how these numbers get spread out to each area.


City Hall teaches the audience, that solutions towards the worlds problems can not be done without effective communication. Notice how Marty Walsh doesn’t cancel anyone out or slash out on someone, thinking completely different than him. Walsh was open to all discussion and understands the problems people in this community is dealing with, as he wants to provide progression rather than going backwards. It’s worth noting that living a life, being completely afraid of interaction with one another in person is simply not going to get the job done. I think most problems in the world are going to continue to grow, if we don’t step up and not be completely terrified of the world during and after Covid, because in person interaction is KEY to bettering communities as we’ve experience it today.


We all know where my biggest flaw with this film lands on and that’s the length... It’s way too long. Though the documentary kept my interest up, as the conversations at hand were pretty interesting... But after awhile it can get either old or just not be interesting anymore, as you’re waiting for this to end. Could’ve trimmed it down to a couple hours and a half.


Overall, City Hall is a cool film. I recommend checking this one out, but be prepared to watch this in sessions, as I did so in three settings. Seems like Marty Walsh for the most part is doing a terrific job, hopefully he kept up his good work during the whole Covid crisis, as before hand he was handling his city at a high successful rate. As always.... Boston> New York, Fook New York. -Mitch Smietana

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