(No longer in theaters)
Feb 1, 2013
Based on little but hearsay, I was set to dismiss Neil Barsky’s Ed Koch documentary Koch as a too-affectionate testimonial to a world-class narcissist—a mayor whose name might be attached to a major bridge but was known in his time for blowing up bridges between blacks and whites, gays and straights. But the film is a canny balancing act, making Koch’s arrogance so plain that you quickly move past it and concede that he accomplished remarkable things for a city that was broke and in chaos and with much of its housing stock in ruins. Time isn’t kind to men at once so exhibitionistic and empathy-challenged: By the end of the film, you want him to go out with a measure of dignity.