Price: $310.00

    Code: 2448

    Directed by Lisa Molomot
    2013, 60 minutes
    Purchase: $310 | Classroom rental: $125

    Clinging to the last affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying city, a determined group of neighbors struggle to save their homes from destruction when the City of New Haven, CT proposes to build a new school complex where their properties stand.

    Set upon building a new school, the city of New Haven claims eminent domain over the Upper Hill neighborhood. While the city argues the building of the new school corresponds to a need for better school facilities, the residents of the area, mostly struggling low-income African-American families, say the decision corresponds to the city's determination to sanitize the neighborhood in the proximity of the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    Together with the help of community leaders and a civil rights lawyer, the unlikely group of neighbors decides to contest the city's claim and take the case to federal court. The film follows the groundbreaking case, which the plaintiffs ultimately lose: the court invokes the doctrine of laches . The neighborhood is demolished and 94 displaced families struggle to find new homes and to re-create a neighborhood life.

    The Hill is a fascinating look at the complex issues surrounding urban planning, gentrification and economic renewal.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    *Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Greenpoint Film Festival, 2013
    *Honorable Mention, Paul Robeson Award, Newark Black Film Festival, 2014
    *Official Selection, Chicago International Social Change Film Festival, 2013
    *Official Selection, San Diego Black Film Festival, 2014
    *Official Selection, Awareness Film Festival, 2014
    *Official Selection, UNSPOKEN Human Rights Film Festival,2014


    "Immediately draws the audience into the controversial issues surrounding the political practices of urban renewal, socio-economical inequalities, and the ugly outcome of poor planning triggered by city leaders... Highly Recommended for public, high school, and academic library collections. It is of high quality and can be used to encourage classroom discussions covering a variety of topics including law, public policy, civil rights, and much more." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    "This potent and at times heartbreaking film raises issues regarding urban renewal, preservation of neighborhoods, and community involvement." - Booklist

    "An inspiring example of what community action can accomplish, one that could prove valuable to other localities faced with comparable struggles. In an age when individual rights are seemingly trampled upon with impunity, this film illustrates how it's possible for even the common man to have his say and to fight back." - Library Journal

      "Telling a timely human story about the potential downsides of urban planning, this is recommended ." - Video Librarian

    "The Hill is a remarkable film that follows a group of people who decide to protest the destruction of their neighborhood. Its great achievement is in revealing the meaning a poor, disheveled neighborhood has for the people who live there. It teaches us the "how" and the "why" of fighting city hall.”
    - Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD,
    Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health
    Columbia University.

    “The film describes a perfect storm of racial and economic injustice perpetrated by a city that abused the doctrine of eminent domain, an unelected Board of Education that cared only about building schools, and a state that facilitated both by footing most of the bill. Shame on them all.”
    - Dr. David Cameron
    Professor of Political Science
    Yale University

    The Hill poignantly depicts two tragic stories. The first is a classic tale about the displacement and loss of community by urban development projects. The second is the failure of collective memory to stop history from repeating itself. The Hill needs to be seen, the story told and re-told."
    - Alison Mountz
    Associate Professor
    Canada Research Chair in Global Migration
    Balsillie School of International Affairs + Geography and Environmental Studies
    Wilfrid Laurier University

    The Hill is a moving documentary that highlights the tensions between urban redevelopment and the rights of a community in today's cities. Molomot's ability to tell a story that accurately reflects the interests of different stakeholders is brilliant. This film is appropriate for courses dealing with urban politics and urban education policy.”
    -Stefanie Chambers, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Trinity College

    "In teaching about urban redevelopment and social justice, it can be difficult to convey the subtleties of individual and community experience. The Hill offers an intimate portrait of a neighborhood fighting for the right to stay in their homes, providing an excellent tool for understanding the emotions and struggles of people who find themselves in the path of urban change."
    -Brian Rosa
    Professor of Urban and Community Studies
    University of Connecticut

    " The Hill is a wrenching look at how poor, yet thriving, urban neighborhoods are sacrificed all too easily to the demands of powerful forces. New Haven, CT, home to Yale University, features the common contradiction of forgotten inner city neighborhoods existing alongside formidable institutions of wealth and privilege. A close-up investigation of the leveling of a New Haven neighborhood known as The Hill -- which stood at the doorstep to the powerful Yale-New Haven Hospital – the film documents how the neighborhood’s poor residents fought New Haven’s political leadership for their homes and community."
    -Dr. Brian Waddell
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    University of Connecticut

    "The film was amazing and heartbreaking. It is deeply relevant to my own work on public housing demolition, serial displacement of African American communities, and affordable housing challenges."
    -Dr. Danya Keene
    Assistant Professor
    Yale School of Public Health

    " Suitable for high school classes and for college courses in cultural anthropology, urban anthropology, development anthropology, and American studies, as well as general audiences." - Anthropology Review Database