Flag Wars, recent documentary I stumbled upon...

Submitted by Glowbawl on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 12:33.

1st post here...

I got a copy of this documentary and figured I'd let folks know it exists.

Flag Wars
Linda Goode Bryant
Year 2003


Focus is on a Columbus neighborhood, and it's fairly akin to Tremont, East Cleveland, or Ohio City issues. I found this movie to be interesting but I wouldn't go as far as the review below and say it's great. It did have a bunch of neighbors who really grated on one another though, hence there were some lively realizations of homophobia and racism brewing.

from berkeleymedia.com:

this profoundly compelling and thought-provoking documentary is the best case study available of the social and human consequences of urban gentrification in contemporary America.

from PBS.org:

Shot over four years, Flag Wars is a poignant 90-minute account of economic competition between two historically oppressed groups, seen through the politics and pain of gentrification. The setting could be any city with a once stable working and middle class black community, now aging and economically depressed, in danger of losing control of their neighborhoods as wealthier home buyers gentrify block by block. In this case, the neighborhood is in Columbus, Ohio and the home buyers are largely white and gay.

The resulting conflicts are a case study of differences in perception. Where realtors and buyers see run-down homes, black residents see evidence of institutional racism that steered resources away from this community. What newer residents see as a beneficial effort to renovate and restore value, veteran residents see as an assault on their heritage and a threat to their ability to hold on to their homes.

The events in Flag Wars unfold against a backdrop of racism, homophobia, and tensions between privilege and poverty. Mix in government zoning boards, the court system, lending institutions, and civic leaders, and you've got a film that literally hits people where they live. Flag Wars explores the complexity of gentrification, and the contradictions between intention and result, belief and action. It goes beyond merely assigning blame or labeling people as good guys or bad guys to examine the relationship between housing, heritage, and public policy.


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Flag Wars

  Thanks for the plug--order from your local library here.