|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.