By David Schalliol. A Co-Presentation with Reel Midwest of WILL/Illinois Public Media.
When the train company representatives told Deborah Payne that her South Side Chicago neighborhood would be demolished to build a freight yard, she vowed to be “the last house standing.” A thirty-year resident of the Englewood community, she had raised generations of neighborhood children alongside her own, forging deep friendships and traditions in this Black American community surrounded by the tracks.
THE AREA is the five-year odyssey of her neighborhood, where more than 400 Black American families are being displaced by a multi-billion dollar freight company. As their community is literally being torn apart, residents maintain friendships and traditions while fighting for the respect they deserve. Through their experiences, the film weaves an all-too-real story about the disproportionate harm that structural racism has done to Black communities, while illustrating the hope and promise neighbors find in one another as they fight for their home.
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