Since the late 1990s, Williamsburg neibourhood in New York has undergone gentrification characterized by a contemporary art scene, hipster culture, and vibrant nightlife that has projected its image internationally as a “Little Berlin”, but before that Southside of Williamsburg was a poor and dangerous neibourhood dominated by Puerto Rican and Dominican community. Diego Echeverria’s film skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored in 2016, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.
Documentary, USA, 1984, English, 57 min.
Tickets and discounts: tickets cost 3 EUR (2 EUR concessions – schoolchildren, students, seniors). Tickets can be purchased on the door and at “Tiketa” sales points in person and online.
The „Common People“ screening series aims to discuss not only the content of documentary films, but also the whole notion of documentary cinema. The series adresses questions of ethics, directorial decisions. To film or not to film? When does a director cross the line of closeness with their subject? Should documentary cinema reflect ‘reality’ or the vision of its creator? These questions and others are raised and discussed looking at films who maintain a close look at people telling their own stories: sensitive, creative, eccentric and based somewhere in the margins.