We’re amid a phase in Ramin Bahrani’s filmmaking career and it’s a subtle but nevertheless exciting shift from where he was ten years ago. With Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and Goodbye Solo, the primary characters range from a Pakistani pushcart driver, a Latino orphan, and a Senegalese cab driver. They were films about the immigrant experience, about the transition in operating in a society that deemed them as outsiders. His next film, 2012’s critically misunderstood and exceptional At Any Price did not involve this sort of outsider experience. Set on Iowa farmland, the film was a vivid study of American decay whereby the hegemonic elite sought to maintain sovereignty through the marginalization of characters like those found in his earlier triptych of films.
Bahrani’s new film, 99 Homes, carries on with this study of the social elite by investigating the housing market. It’s a case study that illustrates the predatory capitalist’s perspective, whereby a real-estate shark repossesses foreclosed homes with startling efficiency. If Bahrani’s initial triad of films was a trilogy of the 99%, then 99 Homes is the second film in a trilogy of the 1%.Read More