The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Oct 08 - Oct 09, 2011

(Chad Freidrichs, 2011, USA, DigiBeta, 79min)

Pruitt-Igoe is a low-cost housing project in St. Louis, MO. Built in the 1950s and ’60s, it has attained legendary status as a failure of modernism, of modern architecture, of public housing, and of government funded programs in general. But is that the whole story? Documentarian Chris Freidrichs asks what more we can learn from Pruitt-Igoe other than “public housing doesn’t work." A tale of poverty, race, government power and the people whose lives these things helped determine, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is a detailed and moving documentary exploring the public housing site’s history, from initial success to full demolition twenty years later. The story takes a wide-angle look at post-war American history but refracts it through the hopes, trials and disappointments of the buildings’ residents, some of whom are interviewed.

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