70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green screens exclusively at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week. Director Ronit Bezalel will be in attendance for the November 13 and November 15 screenings. Click here for additional details.
The term “Cabrini Green” carries a particular stigma both on a national and local scale. It is a location associated with an impoverished and failed system of public housing, conjuring images of destitute black communities and the horrors of criminality and deviance. It’s even associated with the supernatural, serving as the backdrop for Bernard Rose and Clive Barker’s Candyman, where a black man with a hook for a hand is summoned through bathroom mirrors in the projects when his name is repeated five times. But Cabrini Green is but one public housing community among many, and given its proximity to the affluent north side of Chicago, has become a valuable piece of land for prospectors and developers. In Ronit Bezalel’s 70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green, the director observes, through a 15 year span, the demolition of the neighborhood, the relocation of its inhabitants, and the subsequent policies that preclude their return. It’s a powerful documentary on the displacement of a community, the socioeconomic disadvantages that plague so many Chicago residents, and the immediate and ongoing concerns of gentrification that plague the city.Read More