Giorgio’s movie is wrapping up – here is the trailer:
Cost per Square Foot is a documentary film project about the singular and perverse nature of the American housing economy. Though much has been written and filmed about the 2008 housing collapse, we seem to have failed to ask a fundamental question:
What is it that we are actually building?
This documentary attempts to answer that question. And in the process, it tell a larger story about housing in America that many people don’t know.
In the years since the US housing market became the epicenter of an unprecedented global economic collapse, protests in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Southside Chicago have highlighted the stark disparities of opportunity that define many American cities. These phenomena are not unrelated – they are divergent paths set in motion by postwar housing policy, a feat of social engineering that simultaneously created the world’s largest middle class, by directly subsidizing suburban development, while systematically depriving inner cities of resources and denying huge swaths of the US population the ability to build wealth through homeownership.
This was by design.
Cost per Square Foot is a historical road trip through the American housing landscape, in all its glory and all its blunder. The film invites viewers into a deeper conversation about our housing economy, one that addresses the fundamental issues of segregation, inequality, and financial instability. Through the stories of a retired NYC cop, a quietly socialist war bride, an aspiring Youtube star / realtor, and a young photographer whose photos of the Baltimore riots propel him into the national spotlight, Cost per Square Foot charts a course between the imagined wealth of seemingly endless “neo-taco-mediterranean special” suburban tract homes built atop razed orange groves, and the stark realities of life in many of America’s inner cities.
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