Special Screening: OUR HOUSE

Coming to NYC’s Maysles Cinema as part of its Doc Watchers series next Monday, November 5: OUR HOUSE

Greg King and David Teague’s portrait of an anarchist Christian-run homeless squat premiered at Hot Docs in 2010. It went on to screen in Brooklyn, Thin Line, Duck City, and deadCENTER, claiming the grand jury prize at the latter.

Released from Rikers Island with nowhere to go, Dan, a former post office worker who turned to crime to support his drug habit, meets Derek, himself a former addict. Like Dan, who found God behind bars, Derek and his partner JP are both Christians, but, in contrast to the stereotype of close-minded, Christian conservatives, they are both radically progressive, and former drug addicts themselves. Recognizing the failure of the traditional shelter system, they have converted an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse into a squat to help homeless people. They liken themselves to social workers, who just happen to live communally with their charges – JP is actually simultaneously studying to become a social worker. The film details life in their unorthodox community until their Christian landlord, who has essentially agreed to their set-up, faces the realities of the neighborhood’s gentrification and informs Derek and JP that the building is being torn down and redeveloped. With their eviction looming, Dan and the other residents scramble to find a new place to call home. King and Teague’s film has a rough-hewn look, matching its subjects and location, and captures this makeshift family with a quiet authenticity.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations

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