Aurora, Colorado 2021-10-28 15:35:13 –
Denver — In 2017, residents of the Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park in Aurora learned that they were being kicked out. They owned a house. However, the land they were sitting on was owned by a man named Sean Rustigman. And Lustigman wanted to sell.
Anyone who follows the story in the local news knows how it ended. Those interested in this particular aspect of the affordable housing crisis, especially those rooted in their personal experience, will take 85 minutes in the documentary A Decent Home, which will premiere at the Denver Film Festival in November this year. It may be worse than spending time.
This movie welcomes us to the homes of those who are desperately fighting to stick to the lives they have built up. It also takes us into a system that penalizes them, those who benefit from it, and those who try to change it. Director Sarah Terry doesn’t try to hide who she is on. The story of Denver Meadows is heartbreaking and at the heart of the film. The successful bids of Allison Coombs and Juan Marcano to the Aurora City Council are portrayed as a source of hope. A mobile home investor named Frank Rolfe takes potential landlords on a pesky tour like a zoo and gives a cold speech that makes Gordon Gekko frown.
Certain sections work better than others. The first half is much more engrossing than the second half. Terry knows where to put the camera to make the house feel warm and cool the empty space. However, she skillfully underestimates the visuals, but fails due to the narration that would not have been possible without the film and the overly difficult selection of music. Still, the story is valuable and Terry can tell it well.
Denver7’s Jon Ewing sat down with director Salaterry prior to the film’s debut. The conversation has been edited and summarized for clarity.
When I saw Bob LeGare still the mayor of Aurora, I knew how long you had been working on this movie. And I was like, “Oh, well, she’s been working on this movie for years.” Now you are finally at the finish line. I imagine you go beyond being excited about people seeing it.
For six and a half years I have been working on this movie. It started in May 2015. Believe it or not, I wrote a funding proposal and actually used the term “underreported affordable housing crisis.”
And that was really the case in 2015. No one was paying attention. So that’s … — I’m a documentary filmmaker. These are often love labors. If you don’t have enough money at first, it will take a long time to make a documentary film. But the film grew when people started to have problems and John Oliver licensed part of my footage for his intense work. That’s the heart of the movie for it to come out now and come out in the city, which is the main story of the movie. I couldn’t get any more excited.
The John Oliver effect is real! It’s the real thing about journalism. Similarly, journalists can create a story for five years and nothing happens, but when Oliver wears it, things suddenly start to change.
It’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? My background is journalism, so I was working on this film. This was and still is the first movie in Mobile Home Park. But I had one idea in the head of this page, right? Because my background is a printed matter report. And that’s where I started. And I was like, “This is my story.” You know like “I will be the first person to break it.” And there were reports that it caused something just before John’s work was carried out. NPR did something. The Washington Post did something. And I’m like pulling my hair, “My page is a story!” And John Oliver’s show wanted to get a video license. And my team said, “Of course, we want to do that.” Because I was credited to the screen. And a really great filmmaker, Kirby Dick, executive producer of the film, said, “Sara, okay. Believe me.” He said, “Whether you are the first in the world of documentary film. It doesn’t matter. Now the important thing is that John Oliver makes the film and the funders go. “Oh, that’s a great idea!” And the first major grant is 10 from John Oliver’s film. I came a day later.
We literally talk about affordable homes on a daily basis here in Denver. As you know, there are no affordable homes. Most of the time you’re talking about apartments and rentals. Is it strange that we don’t talk much about the mobile home community?
That’s right. And that is, in fact, my first goal as a filmmaker, breaking stereotypes and the derogatory term “trailer trash” should no longer be used, and should never be used. Was to make people understand. But it’s still the only thing people can drop and no one calls for it. That is, 20 million Americans live in mobile homes. It’s the first step in a homeowner’s ladder, you know, and it’s the most vulnerable. You own your home and if you are in a mobile home park you rent the land you live in. So, yeah, this house is important, we need to care about it.
There are some shots in this movie that I really liked …
Just a couple! ??
No, there were several good shots. There was a couple I wrote down. One is the amount of land displayed in front of the Aurora City building. This is just the empty space around. And the other … I love how you built a couple’s house. Very homely and very rich. Framing handles it in a particular way. I think both were intentional choices.
I’m very happy that you saw them and pointed out that they were intentional. I’m essentially a documentary photographer. Visual literacy is central to what I do. And this is the first movie I directed two, but this is the first movie I directed.
Yes, virtually all images are intentional. In every house I entered, I wanted to show you the heart of the house. I wanted to show you love. I wanted to show you my family. I wanted to show you the details of going home, like a stove with “joy” written on it, such as gatherings and food. I’m just deleting … — like all stereotypes, I just want to push it away. When I was inside the houses, I was so proud of those houses that it drove every shot.
And yes, the Aurora City Hall shot. We are talking about a half-built city. Similarly, half of the city is vacant. And Aurora couldn’t find a solution to save Denver Meadows. I’m trying to guide you in those spaces and visually help you stop and think about it.
Is there a movie or filmmaker you were looking for for inspiration?
I think it’s some of Terrence Malick’s landscape works. I saw a wonderful documentary “My Brother’s Keeper” with respect for people in terms of respect for characters who may seem to be low-income earners.
There is a lot of hope in the Juan Marcano and Alison Coombs elections, and we hope this is the first step in the right direction for Aurora. Do you still feel that optimism?
I think that’s a really good question for Alison and Juan. I talked to Alison at some point last fall and I know she said. The nature of the system itself is difficult. With this particular issue, such as the creation of affordable housing and zoning, my hopes remain unchanged for people across the country who are acting locally. This is a regional issue. So I don’t think Alison or Juan are like burnout, giving up, or becoming part of the system. I still have hope. They may tell you, “Holy Molly, you know, it’s more work than we thought.”
In this movie, there is a scene of a seminar with a man named Frank Rolf. I can’t believe he’s saying this. “It’s very terrible to talk like him about other human homes. Are you surprised that he was so open about it?
At one level, Frank Rolf is why I started the film. I read an article about mobile home college classes at The Guardian in 2015. So I sat straight, put my feet on the floor and said, “Wow, I need to do this.” Six weeks after reading the article, I was filming the seminar and started six and a half years of this work.
I think you’re saying that this movie has three or four key people on behalf of the buyer or business, which I find quite shocking. I’m not provoking anyone. I’m not fooling anyone, right? I’m just letting people talk. They used to invite any media outlet to those seminars, as you know. I don’t know if they will do it anymore. I don’t know what they do after they watch the movie. He is (Rolf) a good person. But he just says it’s ridiculous.
Last question: What are your hopes for this movie? Do you want enough people to see it to the point where it affects, or do you just want to get this on Netflix?
I always wanted all my work to start a conversation. There is an ongoing impact campaign alongside this movie, which is expected to have a significant impact. This includes changes in perception. In other words, the day of the premiere will be convened. As the Colorado Health Foundation supports engagement campaigns, we plan to conduct mobile home park screening tours in several parts of the country starting in Colorado. Basically, my dream of this movie is to support the work of all these people. As workers know, it doesn’t matter if you have a job without an affordable home. If you pay for medical expenses, you will not be able to see a doctor. America, which I love, cannot continue as it does today because of this huge wealth gap. Oh yeah, we’re going to put out movies here and there.
The decent home will premiere at the Sea Film Center in East Corfax at 4 pm on Saturday, November 6th.ticket is Denver Film Festival website..
‘A Decent Home’ chronicles fair housing fight, aftermath in Aurora Source link ‘A Decent Home’ chronicles fair housing fight, aftermath in Aurora