Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Heal H Street

Last night, I stood around with a gaggle of neighbors, friends, coworkers, and curious strangers on the corner of G&9th to watch the premiere of Heal H Street, a documentary short by H Street local Craig Corl. Because the permits hadn't been worked out with the Sherwood Rec Center, the film ended up being projected onto the side of a neighbor's house, lending a bit of novelty to the atmosphere.

G & 9th NE, April 22, 2014

The film covered the recent history of the neighborhood, beginning shortly before MLK's assassination through the aftermath of the riots and neighborhood neglect, to the start of gentrification and the ensuing cultural shifts.  The film also traces the filmmaker's personal growth as someone who was born a few years before the riots in an entirely different world, and who struggled to come to terms with his existence as a gentrifier on H Street. While perhaps the process of gentrification and H Street investors are portrayed as probably more deliberately hostile than they are, as I'm more inclined to see the small-stepped micro-decisions and individually-made logical decisions that make up a wave of neighborhood change, the documentary rings true about the relationships that need to be forged among new and old residents in whatever H Street is becoming, and the need to remember the past. 

Heal H Street is now available online for anyone who would like to view it -- and I would certainly recommend it. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that it was projected onto the side of the neighbors home. I'm going to check the website out too. I love that they are really trying to put efforts into the revitalization of H street. I cannot think of a more perfect street for you and Josh in DC!