The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Director: Chad Freidrichs
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 1.5

Freidrichs covers the failed Pruitt-Igoe project in St. Louis, Missouri, which began as this kind of public housing Utopia and ended up in ruin and eventually imploded. Aside from a few notable anecdotes from some long-time residents of the complex and a sociologist or two, this is rather obvious and blandly relayed filmmaking, ultimately placing a large amount of blame on the city of St. Louis for a lack of funding (and skirting past the issue that the residents themselves were certainly a key component in its ultimate demise). Perhaps taking a broader approach to the subject of public housing might have helped provide some much needed context - some fared just as badly, some better - because, on a personal level, my grandmother lives in a public housing high-rise in my town, and the residents there genuinely look after each other (despite some obvious bickering and petty drama, which are inevitable).