Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Hole in a Fence -- a rumination on change and development in a unique Brooklyn neighborhood

"A Hole in a Fence" a documentary by D.W. Young is a consideration of change and development in a small corner of Brooklyn, New York. The Red Hook neighborhood of 10,000 people has seen better days. A percentage of the population lives in extremely large scale housing projects, while another large percentage lives in single family homes. The subway doesn't reach to Red Hook and there is room for cars. There is also room for the homeless on neglected and unused industrial sites.

Young focuses on one site, surrounded by a fence, which is very near the site of the planned IKEA super store. By coincidence he connects with Benjamin Uyeda, a young architect who specializes in green and sustainable design. But, while in college at Cornell he was given an assignment to do something about Red Hook. Instead of doing a master plan he built a little hut in this fenced property and documented it on film.

Young incorporates Uyeda's film and interviews with community activitsts to contemplate the effect of change on the community. It isn't a polemic. It doesn't present a plan. It is just observes and considers the situation.

The film is available on Netflix and for purchase from First Run Features.

Benjamin Uyeda is the chief architect for Zero Energy Design and FreeGreen.com which was discussed in a February 27,2009 post.

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