“I was told everywhere that this film was unfinanceable, and I realized that no one wanted to make it regardless of money issues” –Jacques Doillon
Everyone felt that the ‘projects’ were just an experiment that failed… Everyone felt they were built for political reasons, and torn down for political reasons,” director and actor Kenny Young remarked in an interview a day before the premiere of his new documentary, They Don’t Give a Damn: The Story of the Failed Chicago Projects at the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center this past Friday. The documentary is based on a book written by Chicago native Dr. Dorothy Appiah on the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) “projects” and their nebulous “Plan for Transformation” titled Where Will They Go?: Transforming Public Housing in the City of Chicago. The “Plan for Transformation” was a large-scale public housing restructuring undertaken by the CHA starting in 2000 that involved the demolition of many of the largest developments such as the Robert Taylor Homes, Stateway Gardens, and most of Cabrini-Green. Continue reading
Near Natchez, Mississippi there is a small grove called “The Devil’s Punchbowl.” There, peach trees grow heavy with fruit that remains uneaten, made unpalatable, supposedly, by the knowledge of what happened there right after the Civil War. Continue reading
The DuSable Museum was a flurry of activity on MLK Day. Grammy Award-winning artist J. Ivy performed in the auditorium, family-friendly films on the civil rights movement played on repeat, docents led tours, and in one of the main galleries upstairs, a small exhibition focusing on a group of musicians from the South Side opened its doors.
I don’t sit behind a desk and count all the money,” joked Ron Filbert, fourth generation Filbert and present owner of Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer and its additional twenty-nine varieties of pop. “Even though I’d like to be able to do that,” he added, on his way to bottling a batch of ginger beer in the back room. Dressed casually in a t-shirt and shorts, Filbert radiated boyish joy when talking about his products. With a contagious grin across his face and a look in his eye that could only be called a twinkle, Filbert doesn’t seem too let down by the absence of cash counting in his life. Continue reading
Snow falls fast over the ice rink on the Midway Plaisance as parents and children stand inside the rental area, pulling on extra pairs of socks and pants. In one corner, a few men and women in Blackhawks gear tower conspicuously, chatting and wrapping tape around hockey sticks. Continue reading
In the window of Rooms Gallery in Pilsen, two women in bright red suits stood stock-still, armed with a giant ball of newspaper, surveying the empty, frosted streets. Continue reading