Special advance screening! Filmmakers in person! Film Series : Black Harvest Film Festival 2018

The Area

2018, David Schalliol, USA, 93 min.

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Show Times

  • Thu, Aug 23rd 8:30pm

This searing documentary unfolds the process of a nefarious land grab for a more than century-settled swath of Chicago's South Side Englewood neighborhood. Over a five-year period, the Norfolk Southern Railway methodically turns 85 acres of black homes into eerily empty prairie land in the name of economic revitalization. Aided by the city council and a host of business interests, the railroad proceeds with a plan to expand its intermodal freight terminal into the heart of an area whose residents have few resources to resist when pressured with cash and threats of eminent domain. With a sensitive eye for the raw beauties of the urban landscape, director Schalliol follows a story that becomes powerfully emotional when the last holdouts, led by 30-year resident Deborah Payne, fight for their rights, while the homes of their neighbors fall one after another to the bulldozers. DCP digital. (BS) FF


THE AREA returns to the Gene Siskel Film Center for a run the weeks of September 14 - 27 — PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

August 23: Director David Schalliol, subject Deborah Payne, and selected members of the production team are scheduled to appear for audience discussion.

Play Trailer