Watch: Living Los Sures‘ Short Film, Division Avenue
The second of three short films from UnionDocs Living Los Sures project we’re screening here at Filmmaker, Division Avenue is an experimental film referencing one of the most traveled thoroughfares in New York, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Opening with a jaw-dropping quote from the BQE’s chief architect, Robert Moses, the film, directed by Anne-Katrine Hansen and Janna Kyllastinen, uses an aggressive cello score by Stanza Vaubel and a series of harshly poetic images to capture the violence of this borough-slicing roadway.
Here’s the description of the film from its Vimeo page:
Division Avenue (2014) is an experimental short film about one of the most prominent yet often ignored landmarks of New York, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Examining the architecture and fabric of the highway through poetic imagery and experimental ambient sound recordings, the film reveals traces of lives lived in the shadow of the massive concrete sculpture. Built through densely inhabited neighborhoods, the modernist highway of the controversial city planner Robert Moses reshaped and disrupted the city forever, creating vast non-spaces within once thriving communities. Division Avenue invites the audience to encounter urban landscape in a unique and curious way.
Living Los Sures is a multi-platform documentary consisting of numerous short films inspired by Diego Echeverria’s 1984 doc on the Southside of Williamsburg, Los Sures. Echeverria’s doc will be screened at the Metrograph in New York from April 15 – 21. Tickets are available here.
From UnionDocs, here is info about both works:
Living Los Sures
Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, Living Los Sures is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Today, it is the site of a battle between local identity and luxury lifestyle. With the restoration of Los Sures, a brilliant work of cinéma vérité filmmaking as a starting point, the project has developed into a collection of 40 short films, the interactive documentary 89 Steps, and the cinematic people’s history Shot by Shot, demonstrating new possibilities for collaboration between an arts institution and its surrounding community to collect memories and share local culture.
Dir. Diego Echeverria, USA, 1984, 16mm, 56m
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 for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.