Neil Barsky talks about his documentary "Koch." It opened Friday, February 1, 2013, coincidentally the same day that former Mayor Ed Koch died.
Former Mayor Ed Koch is the quintessential New Yorker. Still ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, the now 88-year-old Koch ruled New York from 1978 to 1989-a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; an infamous 1980 transit strike; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing renewal initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world's most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.
KOCH had its World Premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8, 2012, and will open theatrically on February 1, 2013.
Neil Barsky began his career as a newspaper reporter, and covered real estate and economic development for the New York Daily News and Wall Street Journal. He subsequently became a Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He sits on the board of trustees of Oberlin College and the board of directors of Youth Communication, and is chair of the Columbia Journalism Review board of overseers. Neil is an executive producer of the 2012 documentary Knuckleball. Koch is his directorial debut. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.