British Premier - East of Liberty, 1pm, Dalston Rio cinema, May Day Bank Holiday Monday

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Divisive Cottonwood
Offline
Joined: 15-08-04
Mar 24 2007 22:12
British Premier - East of Liberty, 1pm, Dalston Rio cinema, May Day Bank Holiday Monday

On this coming May Day Bank Holiday Monday, the Dalston Rio will be hosting the British premier of East of Liberty, a documentary about gentrification and regeneration in the predominantly African-American neighbourhood of East Liberty in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

East Liberty was once one of Pennsylvania's most prosperous areas, but disastrous urban planning in the 1960s saw both the central business area decimated and tower blocks erected leaving residents isolated in the sky.

But change is again coming to East Liberty. The traffic in the centre is once again flowing after being rerouted in the 60's, the tower blocks are coming down and new shops are offering everything from yoga to organic food.

Everybody, seemingly, is a winner, but then voices, excluded, marginalised and anxious began to merge...

Chris Ivey, a seasoned filmmaker in Pittsburgh, first started working on the project in May 2005.

He found himself filming a publicity stunt in which paint bombs were being launched by employees of the regeneration company from a giant catapult at a soon-to-be demolished tower block, East Mall. But, admist the revelry, he found residents far from happy.

“I was hired to document the tearing down of the high rises. At the same time I interviewed some of the residents who lived in the high rises and they weren’t happy at all because of the spectacle that was before them. They were really angry. It was their home, it was where they used to live, some for 30 years or more. Even though in many ways it wasn’t the best place to live it was all they had and to see strangers having fun by shooting paintballs at the block left them furious.”

And so began a journey of investigation in which previous silent rage was given space to talk.

The film first debuted in the US last Autumn, and the response has astounded the director:

“The reception here has been really incredible. It’s the most talked about thing in the city right now. There’s been loads of coverage in the papers and everybody around town is talking about it. All the screenings have sold out. The people at the screenings are really passionate – they’re always asking what they can do to get involved.”

Chris Ivey will be attending the event and answering questions at the end. On the prospect of showing the documentary here in London he said:

“I’m really looking to forward to coming to Hackney to show my film. Gentrification isn’t just happening here in the States, it’s also happening all over the world too. Sometimes it’s race, and sometimes it’s class, but it always comes down to the money – who has it and who doesn’t, and if you don’t have it you’ll get screwed.”

For clips from the documentary click on the link below:

http://www.eastofliberty.hackneyindependent.org/

Divisive Cottonwood
Offline
Joined: 15-08-04
Mar 26 2007 19:09

By the way - any help in promoting this film would be appreciated.

Please feel free to copy and paste and use the text and link on any blog, website or email list.

Cheers, Andy

Divisive Cottonwood
Offline
Joined: 15-08-04
Mar 31 2007 07:01

I've set up up a myspace page for this and sent an invite to LibCom so we can become friends...

http://www.myspace.com/east_of_liberty

Fozzie's picture
Fozzie
Offline
Joined: 4-12-03
May 7 2007 07:58

today! 1pm!