New York Film Festival 1984
New York Film Festival 2014
A portrait of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Latino community in the early 1980s.
Filmed over a month in the Summer of 1983, Echeverria’s hourlong doc captures the financially disadvantaged but vibrant community that called the Southside home decades before gentrification recast it as the hub of New York City’s hipsters. While the film opens with some brief narration, this quickly gives way to observational and interview footage of five residents, presented in discrete chapters. Though these subjects relate the challenges of living in poverty, they seem chosen for their resilience, turning to legal – and for some extra-legal – means to try to make ends meet. What comes through clearly is a sense of a close-knit community in which neighbors help relocate families displaced by apartment fires, but which is beginning to feel the deleterious impact of the drug epidemic. While modest, Echeverria’s film is an affecting snapshot of a bygone time.