I remember watching City Of Hope in a near-empty theater in Kansas City, Kansas, in October 1991, the same night that I watched David Mamet’s Homicide at the next theater over.
Though my opinion of the expectation-confounding Homicide has improved over time, my opinion of City Of Hope hasn’t changed at all. It’s a fantastic, utterly compelling piece of dramatic storytelling, and probably my favorite Sayles picture, with Limbo coming in a close second.
Homicide received the Criterion treatment on DVD years ago, but City Of Hope continues to languish in DVD/Blu-ray purgatory at the moment, supposedly due to a rights issue that Sayles regrets to this day. Maybe somewhere down the road, this 1991 masterpiece will find its way into the Criterion collection, but, until then, a fella can dream, can’t he?