Film Review: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

A new documentary on Pruitt-Igoe, one of the most infamous housing projects in U.S. history, explores the institutional racism behind American public housing.

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This expertly crafted analysis of institutionalized racism and the decline of the modern American city takes its name from an infamous 1950s housing project that turned out to be a colossal failure—“a slow-motion Katrina,” as one historian called it.

While St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe development became synonymous with the worst parts of ghetto life, this insightful film exposes the root causes of the collapse, and debunks the myths that still circulate around public housing today. Mixing poignant interviews with former residents and stunning archival footage, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is as revelatory as it is resonant.

(on DVD; First Run Features)