THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN - BOOM: THE SOUND OF EVICTION
For its first feature-length effort, the San Francisco-based Whispered
Media collective followed several Latino and black families, elderly
folks, struggling artists and activists during the recent dot-com boom,
when eviction rates tripled in the city's Mission District, and mom-and-pop
bodegas were suddenly reincarnated as pricey oxygen bars.
This is a meat-and-potatoes, activist-made video documentary: We
see dot-commers fresh out of college in a remodeled Victorian, scarcely
taking the time to think about its former residents, a Salvadoran family
now sleeping under a freeway. We see the faces of the displaced in dangerously
crowded apartments, activists yelling, "Don't evict!" and the landlords
for whom the translation is "Don't make money!" And we're provided historical
perspective by archival footage of earlier populist struggles in the
1930s and the 19th-century gold-rush era.
Today, in the wake of the bust, overpriced buildings still lie empty
and out of reach for families in need of homes. But while Boom laments
what's been lost, it also manages a celebratory tone as it shows us
the dancing in the streets before and after a city election that helped
tip the balance of power from real estate speculators back to the people.
(Alternative Screen at the Egyptian; Thurs., March 14, 7:30 p.m.