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Ed Koch Documentary Opens In Theaters On Same Day As His Passing

Former Mayor Didn't Like Parts Of 'Koch,' But Filmmaker Says It Is A Fitting Tribute
(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a strange coincidence.

A new documentary about Mayor Ed Koch opened in theaters on Friday. Koch did see the movie before he died and said there were some things about it that he didn’t like.

However, the filmmaker and movie goers said it stands as a fitting tribute to a man who loved public life and who loved publicity.

“I would have seen it anyway, but I really felt obligated to come today,” Chelsea resident Elizabeth Greenberg told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

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On the big screen at Lincoln Cinemas on the Upper West Side was the big personality, big heart, and, yes, big mouth of the legendary New Yorker.

“He basked in the glow of the spotlight,” said “Koch” filmmaker Neil Barsky.

Barsky said he interviewed Koch in 2010 and early 2011, with no ground rules and no promises.

“He never asked us to do anything other than let him see it and I think he was worried it would be tougher,” Barsky said.

When Koch saw the film in July he did not like two main things about it.

“The way we depicted his relationship with the African-American community he thought was way too harsh,” Barsky said.

He also didn’t like a scene of him from 2011, walking in his hallway.

“It was to show that he was older and this is the life of an 80-something-year-old man, which in his case was quite dynamic and it was to show that he was alone. He has lived his life in the public eye and he went home alone most nights,” Barsky said.

Barsky said his film shows that Koch lived a remarkable life and remained relevant right up until the very end.

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