Focusing on Hoxton Street in East London and its inhabitants over a four-year period, Zed Nelson’s debut feature-length documentary is a film about love and loss, charting a community unraveled by gentrification, austerity and the nation’s slide into Brexit. The Street will be available from 23 March on DVD and to download from i-Tunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Curzon Home Cinema, BFI Player, SkyStore.
In our review of the film last year we said: “For anyone born and raised in Hackney (like this reviewer) The Street can only be viewed with a heavy heart, and it’s a painful reminder of how little autonomy people have in the face of such wealthy resources. These are stories that could be transplanted to countless places across the UK, and even with the understanding that gentrification is cyclical, the damage done to people’s lives and families in the meantime is often irreparable.”
As the glinting steel and mirror-glass skyscrapers of London’s financial hub edge ever closer, the area surrounding Hoxton Street has been transformed by ‘luxury’ redevelopments and sky-high property prices. This traditional East London street, less than a mile from the City of London, has become the last bastion of the areas disadvantaged – a concentration of the aged, poor and dispossessed. Hoxton Street’s close-knit working-class community has absorbed waves of immigrants since the 1950’s. But as traditional industry has withered, the latest influx of young urban hipsters followed closely by expensive restaurants, digital media start-ups and corporate property developers has brought with it a deepening social and financial divide.
Sensing they have been left behind, the street’s ageing residents lament the loss of their jobs and former ways of life, echoing the 52% who voted to leave the EU. Set against rapid gentrification, unregulated capitalism, years of austerity, the fallout from Grenfell and the eruption of Brexit, Zed Nelson’s feature-length debut is a revealing portrait of life in London today.
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…
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