This film is a collaboration of two Detroiters—journalist Paul Abowd and filmmaker Oren Goldenberg. For years, the two of us have biked through the Brewster Douglass Projects. At first glance, its towers conjure the empty Detroit everyone talks about. This film takes us closer, where community, history, and memories continue to fill the neighborhood.
In 1935 Eleanor Roosevelt came to break ground on the Brewster Homes, the first public housing project in the country built for black people. Seventy-five years later, half of the neighborhood has been demolished and redeveloped. The other half stands windowless and seemingly vacant. We began the film with many questions. How did Brewster Douglass get here? What happened to public housing in this country? What about the people who filled these buildings—and the people who still do? What are their visions for the future or the neighborhood and the city?
We returned to Brewster Douglass and soon met: squatters in the project's Douglass row houses, which were officially vacated in 2008; early residents who have since moved out; organizers who fought to keep the projects open; and those who live and worship in the redeveloped Brewster Homes across from the vacant towers. This film looks at the neighborhood through their eyes.
With your help, we will be able to continue post-production and create a finished film. So far, this documentary has been produced with spare time and resources. We are asking for your support so this piece can add to the growing current of conversation and debate over the future of our beloved city. All we have left to do is obtain additional archival footage, hire a motion graphics editor, and complete sound and final editing.
With a $5 donation or more, you are pre-buying this 30-minute film. Upon its completion, a password-protected link will be sent via email for you to download the movie. We need funds right now to finish this project.
Your contribution is much appreciated, and will be carefully spent.
- (21 days)