A group of San Francisco artists speak about their perspectives on the complex issue of gentrification affecting their city. They delve into the specifics of how the art community is involved, how art once used to enrich the neighborhoods of the Mission District is being exploited by real estate developers to attract a higher class of wealth in historically impoverished areas. In its wake, the artists who created safe community spaces are forced to leave.
Directed by Patrick Saxer
Produced by Patrick Saxer
Director of Photography Robert Bevis
Editing by Patrick Saxer
Sound by Erik Kallin
“As a 20 year old, third generation Floridian, who had never travelled farther West than the Mississippi before making this film, I am merely an observer. I do not truly know what gentrification is, I am only aware of it. I am very well gentrifying the Tallahassee neighborhood that I live in. I do not know what it’s like to be evicted, to scrounge, or to be unsupported. I am outsider and I admit to my privilege. When I set out to make this film, my sister – a Bay Area resident – asked me to rethink my subject matter. Of course this only made the project more attractive to me, but she is justified in her warning. This film cannot come close to realizing the behemoth of gentrification; an event so equally broad and personal where everyone is a victim and everyone is justified. But I am an outsider and I admit to my blindness. I do not deserve the right to determine the hero in this issue, however, I sympathize with those whom I spoke to. I wanted to give them a platform on which to voice their experience and to reach unaffected ears. For those familiar with gentrification this is nothing new I suppose, perhaps a reassurance that someone is listening. For those who haven’t heard, this is for you: a glimpse at your neighbors and a taste of their lives. All I can hope is that someone will learn something from all of this.”
–Patrick Saxer, director, “Hunting the Black Sheep”