Gut Renovation

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Film Info
Director:Su Friedrich
Film Category:Poilitics/Social Justice
Personal Story
Running Time:81
Year of Release:2012
Premiere:California Premiere


Welcome to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg; New York’s new bohemia. Or is it? In the late 1980s artists moved into this working class neighborhood, populated by small manufacturers, Polish butchers, and auto repair shops, just across the East River. SoHo took 30 years to change from an artists’ bohemia to an art gallery hotspot, to an outdoor shopping mall; Williamsburg’s demise has been much faster, due in part to a 2005 zoning law change.

With a perfect combination of wit, anger, and political savvy, acclaimed independent filmmaker, Su Friedrich and co-writer Cathy Quinlan record how the neighborhood has changed from when they arrived in 1989 to the rich-hipster haven it has become. Friedrich casts a jaundiced eye on the sleek granite kitchen counters featured at the condo openings she attends; she paints graffiti on construction fences (“Artists Used To Live Here”) and comments wryly on her new neighbors (“What’s with all the fancy dogs?”).  (JMG)

For anyone who has ever moved to an affordable neighborhood only to find that gentrification renders it unaffordable — this is the movie for you, which transcends the documentary form. (Film Forum, NYC).

“Ms. Friedrich is fighting mad. She is a provocateur… The funniest scene involves the removal of a giant rock, which is too large and heavy to be carted away in one piece, a problem that takes weeks to solve. ”- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

An intensely personal film. A tone poem, a subjective and emotional distillation of anger and grief. I found myself surprisingly moved. It's difficult to be objective about loss, far more human to record yourself hurling expletives out the window at nameless men with Bluetooths who have come to claim your future.- Susanna Locascio, Hammer to Nail