“The Bronx, USA” is a film that takes a look at the Bronx from the early 1940s through 2017 and delves into its socio-cultural history. This Danny Gold documentary follows “Seinfeld” producer George Shapiro and a couple of his childhood friends, “The Bronx Boys” Carl Golub and Jay Schwartz, as they take a sentimental trip down memory lane visiting their old schools, the street they grew up on and places they played as kids.
I found “The Bronx, USA” heartfelt and poetic, at times. The musical introduction, “Da Bronx,” performed by comedian Robert Klein and singer Donald Webber, Jr., is a bit silly, but fun, nonetheless.
The body of the film is full of brief interviews with Bronx natives Alan Alda, Colin Powell, Chazz Palminteri, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Hal Linden and Rob Reiner, just to name a few. The film delves into the lasting friendships they made in this NYC borough and in Alda’s case, the story of meeting the love of his life, wife Arlene.
“The Bronx, USA” is not all about a bunch of aging men, it also focuses on the 2017 graduating class of DeWitt Clinton High School, comparing and contrasting what is was like back in the day to what it’s like for young adults in today’s world. The Bronx was originally an immigrant neighborhood, and most of the teens interviewed are first generation Bronx kids. There is a lot of discussion of the unification of cultures throughout the years as well.
The main trio of men go back to their alma matter at the end of the movie to talk to the kids at DCHS before their graduation. There is really not much difference in how these two very diverse groups grew up. The charming ending updates the viewer on where the DCHS graduation class of 2017 is now.