“He was certainly combative, and confident, and full of love for the city he governed with such gusto. Koch is a New York story for the whole world to appreciate.” — Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
New York City mayors have a world stage on which to strut, and they have made legendary use of it. Yet few have matched the bravado, combativeness and egocentricity that Ed Koch brought to the office during his three terms from 1978 to 1989. As Neil Barsky’s Koch recounts, Koch was more than the blunt, funny man New Yorkers either loved or hated. Elected in the 1970s during the city’s fiscal crisis, he was a new Democrat for the dawning Reagan era—fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Koch finds the former mayor politically active to the end (he died in 2013)— still winning the affection of many New Yorkers while driving others to distraction.
Visit the POV companion site for Koch to watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (starting September 23, 2014), learn from the filmmakers in an extended video interview, find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling and download a discussion guide and other viewing resources.
Then, on Tuesday, September 23, from 1-2 PM ET (10-11 AM PT), ask filmmaker Neil Barsky and Diane Coffey, Koch’s Chief of Staff your questions. RSVP for the chat, submit your questions or listen in on the conversation on Google+.
Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #Koch.
“Koch proved a perfectly complex character,” says Neil Barsky in a filmmaker statement. “He was funny and he could be a bully; he was charming and also narcissistic. He had a much-speculated-about private life, and he didn’t mind if you asked about it, so long as you didn’t mind being told to mind your own business. He was a man surrounded by friends and admirers, and he was a man alone.”
Koch premieres Monday, September 22, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.)