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|Jason Henry||Voice Only|
|Chad Freidrichs||Director, Producer, Screenwriter|
|Benjamin Balcom||Score Composer|
|Jaime Freidrichs||Producer, Screenwriter|
Posted November 21, 2013
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.