OU alum documents Detroit delights

By Shelby Tankersley

Years after graduating from Oakland, filmmaker Anthony Brogdon has followed his dream to make movies. He recently released his first film, “The Great Detroit: It was, It is, It will be.”

Last Thursday in the Fireside Lounge, he brought his movie back to his alma mater to show to OU students and faculty.

“This is my first film. It took me three years to make it,” Brogdon said.

His film shows a side of Detroit that we don’t often get to see: the good side. Students and faculty that attended the viewing had their eyes opened to some of the hidden gems The D has to offer. This included museums, landmarks, churches and the many times Detroit has been the first in the country to do something.

“I love Detroit, it’s a great city,” Brogdon said. “I hope that those who get a chance to see this movie see what I see in the city.”

Viewers learned about much more than the automotive side of Detroit; they heard about yacht clubs, state fairs and the origins of hip hop and techno that came from The D. He brought his findings back to show his fellow Golden Grizzlies.

Brogdon actually graduated from Oakland with a degree in business, but he decided to pursue the arts instead. He tried his luck with playwriting but settled on becoming a filmmaker.

“Seven years ago I wrote a play,” Brogdon said. “I didn’t enjoy all that came with it, so I decided to do a film. I figured the best place to start would be a documentary about somewhere I was from and something I knew.”

Along with wanting to show Detroit at its best, Brogdon came back to OU as a sort of thank you.

“Oakland made it happen for me,” Brogdon said. “Thank you so much for letting me come back here.”

The students and staff appeared happy to have him. Students, professors, and even President Hynd stopped by to see what Detroit is really all about.

“I really liked the documentary,” junior Dantel Shaw said. “I go downtown a lot, it’s nice to see the places where everyone gets together on screen and to learn about midtown. The film really gave a good light to Detroit.”

Brogdon said that he hopes his film will be a step to showing people the real Detroit, perhaps it will be. Anyone interested in viewing the film can find it on Amazon.