Filmmaker Tells Her Side of Williamsburg's Gentrification Story
Filmmaker Su Friedrich's documentary "Gut Renovation" incorporates footage shot between 2000 and 2008, as NYC rezoned industrial lofts, home to artists and small businesses, in Williamsburg, for residential redevelopment.
In an interview with the filmmaker, Architectural Record's Dante Ciampaglia asks tough questions about making a "one-sided" documentary that ignores the point of view of the developers and the gentrifiers, focusing instead on the disappearance of the neighborhood's architectural fabric and the impassioned voices of the discontent.
"I did spend time reading things and hearing them do their sales pitches, but I think that what they're selling is a false argument," retorts Friedrich who says she did not set out to provide a balanced story because she knew a lot of people who were displaced and angry because of the city's actions.
She hopes residents of the Upper West and Lower East Side in Manhattan will learn from what happened to Williamsburg before their own neighborhoods are transformed before their very eyes.