DePaul University Special Collections and Archives and the Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative will host a FREE screening of Now We Live On Clifton at the DePaul University Student Center at 7PM on Thursday, November 17. Peter Kuttner, one of the filmmakers, will participate in a post-screening conversation with Roxy Ruth, one of the film's subjects. The discussion will be facilitated by Miles Harvey, Associate Professor of English at DePaul University.
A kids-eye-view of gentrification made during Kartemquin's Collective Era, Now We Live on Clifton follows 10 year old Pam Taylor and her 12 year old brother Scott around their multiracial West Lincoln Park neighborhood. The kids worry that they'll be forced out of the neighborhood they grew up in by the gentrification following the expansion of DePaul University. The film was restored in 2011 thanks to a prestigious National Film Preservation Foundation grant.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, the late Jerry Blumenthal, a founding partner of Kartemquin, described the economic shifts that were starting to affect Lincoln Park: "It had been a very gritty, working-class neighborhood that was in some ways gang-infested in the '50s and '60s and was now being gentrified in a gentle but nonetheless insidious way. That was having an impact on a lot of families who came from that working-class stock, who made the neighborhood what it was."
Now We Live On Clifton along with its companion film, Winnie Wright, Age 11 were both originally intended to be used by educators in order to reflect the experience of inner-city, white working-class children and the problems that they and their families were facing in Chicago. The concern was that these children wouldn’t have seen themselves represented on film before, and Kartemquin sought to correct that oversight. The documentation of these children as actors in the world that they live in—wholly conscious of subjects like gentrification, civil rights, and violence against women—is something of a revelation.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Guidestar
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