The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History

( 1 )

Overview

Filmmaker Chad Freidrichs attempts to dispel the myths surrounding St. Louis' Pruitt-Igoe housing project by examining the rise and fall of the once-promising development within a historical context. Constructed in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe offered people who once lived in poverty the change to enjoy modern living in a convenient urban setting. But by the late 1960s Pruitt-Igoe was overrun with crime, and the following decade it was demolished. As a result, Pruitt-Igoe is often cited as an example of both failed Modern ...
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Overview

Filmmaker Chad Freidrichs attempts to dispel the myths surrounding St. Louis' Pruitt-Igoe housing project by examining the rise and fall of the once-promising development within a historical context. Constructed in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe offered people who once lived in poverty the change to enjoy modern living in a convenient urban setting. But by the late 1960s Pruitt-Igoe was overrun with crime, and the following decade it was demolished. As a result, Pruitt-Igoe is often cited as an example of both failed Modern Architecture and public planning. By looking a bit deeper and examining the circumstances surrounding the fall of Pruitt-Igoe, however, Freidrichs posits that those who perpetuate these arguments may be missing some crucial components of the big picture.
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Special Features

Bonus Film: "More Than One Thing" (Dir. Steve Carver; 30 min; 1969); ; Director's Commentary by Chad Freidrichs; Additional Interviews; Pruitt-Igoe Site Tour
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/15/2012
  • UPC: 720229915090
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Source: First Run Features
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,323

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jason Henry Voice Only
Sylvester Brown Interviewee
Robert Fishman Interviewee
Joseph Heathcott Interviewee
Brian King Interviewee
Joyce Ladner Interviewee
Ruby Russell Interviewee
Valerie Sills Interviewee
Jacqueline Williams Interviewee
Technical Credits
Chad Freidrichs Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Benjamin Balcom Score Composer
Paul Fehler Producer
Jaime Freidrichs Producer, Screenwriter
Brian Woodman Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pruitt-Igoe Myth
1. Chapter 1 [7:51]
2. Chapter 2 [8:03]
3. Chapter 3 [11:45]
4. Chapter 4 [7:12]
5. Chapter 5 [7:32]
6. Chapter 6 [8:44]
7. Chapter 7 [7:04]
8. Chapter 8 [9:10]
9. Chapter 9 [10:34]
10. Chapter 10 [5:01]
1. Brian King [7:51]
2. Chapter 2 [8:03]
3. Billie Teneau [11:45]
4. Freddie Stevens [7:12]
5. Jacqueline Williams [7:32]
6. Betty L. Thompson [8:44]
7. Joyce Ladner [7:04]
8. Ruby Russell [9:10]
9. Robbie Montgomery [10:34]
10. Sylvester Brown [5:01]
11. Valerie Sills [:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Pruitt-Igoe Myth
   Play Feature
   Chapters
   Extras
      Pruitt-Igoe Site Tour
      Interview Outtakes
         Play All
      Bonus Film: More Than One Thing
         Play
      Director's Commentary
         Commentary: On/Off
      Director's Biography
      Film Gallery
         Windfall
         Eames
         Surviving Progress
         Mr. Foster?
   About First Run Features
      Film Gallery
         Windfall
         Eames
         Surviving Progress
         Mr. Foster?
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2013

    This DVD is about the very first public housing project in the U

    This DVD is about the very first public housing project in the US. It goes into detail about why it was originally built and why it eventually failed and had to be torn down. I was interested in this DVD because I am from Missouri originally and always heard about Pruitt-Igoe and wanted to find out if it was all true.

    The DVD mostly interviews former residents who were children when they lived there. They had all kinds of interesting things to say---one said that the welfare office wouldn't allow them to have a TV. One man said that his mom told him to beat up some other boys just once so he wouldn't be picked on. I wish that they went into more detail about what the former residents are doing now.

    The overall opinion of the former residents is that the government did a poor job planning and maintaining the housing project. The planners mistake was to build everything at once, rather than to build it one at a time. The government should have also trained the residents how to maintain the property and expected them to do it as a condition of living there. The government was only part of the problem, the other one were the residents.

    I know that they were unhappy about their living conditions, but they didn't have to throw things at the firefighters and police who came there. I heard that 911 were left unanswered from there and I believe that is true. There was also no reason for the residents to vandalize the place. Not one of those former residents said what those people did were wrong. One of the former residents asks why he has to live there. I think what he should be asking is why doesn't my mom try harder to get off public assistance so I don't have to live here.

    My conclusion after watching this and meeting welfare recipients myself is that the government should get out of the business of helping the poor. Private charaties do a much better job of taking care of the poor than the government does. If Pruitt-Igoe was not built, the residents would have found some housing and remained with their children's fathers. They may have to live in substandard housing, but it would be near places where they could find work. Eventually they could save up and find better housing rather than be stuck and dependent on welfare and public housing.

    I would only recommend this DVD for people interested in social welfare and government housing. It is a little boring to watch and it is one sided.

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