"The cinema is cruel like a miracle." -Frank O'Hara

Gut Renovation [Su Friedrich, 2013]

Su Friedrich on the rooftop of her former building in Williamsburg.

In case you didn’t catch it over at the Brooklyn Rail, here’s an interview I did with Su Friedrich about her gentrification diary-doc, Gut Renovation.

Su was an excellent to talk to, and we ended up walking around Williamsburg and visiting her old building on 118 North 11th Street. Here’s the facade of the historic building, which used to be the site of the Hecla Iron Works factory:

As I witness the city that I grew up in morph into something unrecognizable, documentaries like these seem all the more urgent. Gut Renovation is effective because it’s angry—as I think more of us should be. There’s an important outcropping of anti-gentrification films that are channelling anger, along with docs that depict failed urban experiments (Detropia, The The Pruitt-Igoe Myth). Though they vary widely in scope and tone, all of these films depict urban decay, and the moral decay of the government that kowtows to moneyed corporate interests over the basic needs of its people.