70 Acres In Chicago

Twenty-years in the making, 70 Acres in Chicago tells the story of the Cabrini Green public housing development located on the most hotly contested 70 acres of land in Chicago. With its prime central location, Cabrini Green was initially hailed as a public housing triumph, then later demonized as an urban disaster. It was demolished over a period of 15 years beginning in 1995, and repackaged as a 'mixed income' development. Critics contend that the motivation was economic gain, as public housing's prime real estate became too valuable for the low-income Black communities that once lived there. The few Cabrini residents who were able to move into the highly regulated mixed income settlement are negotiating through difficult cultural territory. Encounters between the former Cabrini residents and the new white middle-class homeowners comprise the very real tensions of a newly constructed community in transition. 70 Acres in Chicago tells the volatile story of these 70 acres, while looking unflinchingly at race, class, and who has the right to live in the city. The film uses personal stories, expert commentary, and informative history to celebrate the spirit of a unique community and to mourn its betrayal and destruction.

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