MACC Hosts Screening of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
MACC will host a screening of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History, a new feature-length documentary, in the Blue Room on its Main Campus in Moberly on February 10 at 10 a.m. Director Chad Freidrichs will give a talk about the film after the screening and be available to answer any questions from audience members. This event, made possible by the MACC Foundation, is free and open to the public.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth explores the short life of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development in St. Louis, which was opened in 1954 to meet the public housing needs of an overcrowded city. Two decades later, with its highly-publicized demolition, Pruitt-Igoe became a potent national symbol of failure, a failure that has been used to critique Modernist architecture, attack public assistance programs, and stigmatize public housing residents.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth attempts to reassess the complex history of Pruitt-Igoe within the larger post-War context of segregation, poverty, and urban population decline. It gives special emphasis to the stories of the residents who managed to adapt to, and survive, the downward spiral of vacancy, vandalism and crime that made Pruitt-Igoe infamous. By examining the interests involved in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation and re-evaluating the rumors and the stigma associated with it, the film reveals a much more nuanced vision of Pruitt-Igoe that implodes the well-worn stereotypes and myths.
The film’s Director, Chad Freidrichs, is an assistant professor in Stephens College’s Digital Film & Media Department. His film is winning award after award at festivals around the world. He recently traveled to Los Angeles to receive the ABCNews Videosource Award for best use of archival footage from the International Documentary Association. It's just another honor on top of the others he and his film, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, have racked up as it's made the film festival circuit, including SilverDocs, True/False, Full Frame, Big Sky and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
So far, he's won the Best Feature Documentary Award at both the Oxford Film Festival and KCFilmFest. He's also slated to receive the American Historical Association's prestigious John E. O'Connor Film Award for outstanding interpretation of history. The film has also earned critical praise: Variety's film critic said, “An uncommonly artful example of film journalism…gloriously musical at times, cut in perfect tempo to Benjamin Balcom’s resonantly moody score.” It also received positive reviews in the New York Times, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, TimeOut New York and Film Journal International after its January opening in New York City.
Now, the film, co-written by his wife, Jamie, has been acquired by New York-based First Run Features and will be released in select theatres across the country beginning in March 2012, and also on video on demand, VOD, and home video.
Freidrichs first screened his film to his students at Stephens, who honored him with The Century Candle Award, for his dedication to teaching them the tricks of the trade. Now, with theatrical distribution, his film will be available to a much wider audience. He's also waiting to hear from several distributors on a television premiere as well.
To learn more about The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, and to view the trailer, visit www.pruitt-igoe.com.