Gentrification film premieres

Cape Town film-maker Kurt Orderson says he is excited his film, about gentrification, is ready for viewing.

After four years of production a film about gentrification in three countries is set to premiere this week.

Local film-maker Kurt Orderson said he was excited to finally show his film, Not in my Neighbourhood, to the public today Friday, February 16.

There will be a free screening in Bromwell Street Park, Woodstock, at 8pm.

The documentary chronicles the intergenerational experiences of spatial violence and its correlation to apartheid spatial planning and gentrification. The aim of the film, says Orderson, is to highlight gentrification as a form of social and economic inequality.

Orderson, said he was relieved and happy that the film was finally complete. He lived in Green Point but is originally from Mitchell’s Plain and now based in New Orleans in America.

The film follows gentrification happening in three cities, Cape Town, São Paulo and New York.

The issues of affordable housing and evictions in Cape Town have been much debated in recent times. Increasing property values, especially in areas close to the city centre, have led to many places becoming unaffordable to families who have lived there for generations.

Lobby groups such as Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi have also put pressure on local government to make affordable housing in well-located areas an official policy. They are also calling for government-owned land to be used for affordable housing as a means to reverse apartheid’s spatial planning.

Orderson said that the struggles facing communities in Cape Town was not unique, and he wanted to show this in the film. “A lot of sacrifice and persistence went into it,” he said.

He said they wanted to take the film to the community that made it. “Often they don’t get to see the finished product. Film festivals are also often exclusive and expensive.”

He said that after this screening, the world premiere would take place in Egypt. He also hopes to take the film to America and Brazil.

Orderson said it was significant that the film was being screened in Bromwell Street where long-time residents have been fighting eviction.

“We wanted to show it to the community. The families are in court. The film is also about solidarity.”

He said the most important message he wanted people to take away from the film was that the fight against injustice must continue.

“We will continue resisting. We are descendants of families who were victims of apartheid.”

Orderson’s next movie is already in the works. “It is called Ape Town and is set in Cape Town,” he said.

For more information about today’s screening, call Orderson at 072 577 0731.