Nick Schager Reviews Koch

Love him or hate him, Ed Koch was New York in the 1980s, and Koch‘s bio account of his mayoral tenure offers almost equal measures of celebration and censure. Director Neil Barsky‘s film never shies away from Koch’s controversies, exploring his third term’s devastating corruption scandal and giving voice to critics who viewed him as, among other things, a racist (thanks to his closing of Harlem’s Sydenham Hospital), a hypocritical homophobe (courtesy of persistent rumors of his gayness and his administration’s slow response to the AIDS crisis), and an opportunist. Still, Koch nonetheless also finds time to flirt with hagiography.

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