This documentary explores the tumultuous history, challenging present, and opportunistic future of this infamous Chicago neighborhood.
THE VIDEO provides some background on current initiatives in the neighborhood. It embodies the tone of the second portion of the actual film, which will focus on the present day and the opportunities for the future.
...Back of the Yards is an infamous neighborhood on Chicago's South side, most commonly affiliated with Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," which was instrumental in highlighting the labor challenges faced by stock yard workers in the early 1900s. However, over 100 years after the plight of the immigrant workers featured in "The Jungle," the neighborhood still struggles with labor issues, as well as poverty, gang violence, and a bad reputation within the mainstream media.
The history of Back of the Yards is wrought with struggle, yet there has been a long history of activism as well. This film will take a holistic approach to documenting not only the problems in the neighborhood, but the efforts of community leaders and residents as well. The neighborhood itself is the character of the film, and its story is told by multitudes of residents, from youth enrolled in a community journalism program to a 99-year-old former union organizer.
The final product is going to be a 30-45 minute documentary film that will be submitted to festivals, screened at community centers, and serve as the basis for an interactive online "asset map" that allows audience members to further explore the neighborhood and view exclusive content that, for timing reasons, wasn't able to be fully included in the actual film.
The funding allocated through Kickstarter will be used to fund transportation expenses, equipment rental, securing rights to archival material, marketing and promotions, and community outreach. The majority of interviews and community events have been shot already, but there is still quite a bit of B-roll needed.
This film is meant for both residents of the neighborhood and people who don't know much about it; its topics are relevant to the issues faced by many Americans today as the economy sours and the country's industrial sector often lies abandoned and forgotten. However, the most universal element of the film is its sense of hope.
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People who donate $25 or more will receive honorable mentions in the film's end credits, a free copy of the final DVD, and an autographed photograph of a historical neighborhood hotspot, taken by the film director.
- (30 days)