Public Housing

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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

For this 1997 chronicle of people living in poverty at Chicago's Ida B. Wells public-housing development, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman attempted to record all aspects of daily life at the housing development -- drug counselors, street life, addiction, unemployment, drug education, guidance counselors, job training programs, tense relationships between residents and police, the elderly, dysfunctional families, the tenant's council, nursery school, after-school teen programs, and the activities of city, state, and federal governments in maintaining and changing public housing.


Critic Reviews for Public Housing

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3)

  • ... soberly revealing new work.

    Dec 6, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Issues that are all too familiar -- drugs, crime, teen-age pregnancy, the frustrations caused by government red tape -- take on a new immediacy thanks to the extraordinary intimacy of Mr. Wiseman's working methods.

    Dec 2, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Wiseman presents a wide array of materials, and because you have to reflect on the film to realize how the various pieces of its design hang together, you're liable to be thinking about it months afterward.

    Dec 2, 2003 | Full Review…
  • About three hours long, the film takes the time it needs to demonstrate the complexities and frustrations between the residents and the governmental agencies supposedly set up to help them.

    Mar 5, 2004 | Full Review…

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