OWNED: A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS
Directed by Giorgio Angelini
2018, 83 minutes
Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125
Home ownership to me means freedomstrictly. When you dont own anything, you are nothing. Owned: A Tale of Two Americas is a fever dream vision into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Revealing the roots of its racist underpinnings and the systematic unequal division of opportunity between whites and blacks in the U.S. housing economy, Owned demonstrates how racial inequality was institutionalized in the postwar U.S. housing market, with effects that continue to reverberate today.
The United States postwar housing policy created the worlds largest middle class. After World War II, the US government sought to provide housing for returning veterans and their families, while enabling them to build wealth through homeownership. Postwar policies spurred a decades-long construction boom and enabled millions of Americans to buy homes. But not all citizens were given this opportunity. Government policies directly subsidized white America, while denying opportunities to black people and other minorities, setting America on two divergent pathsone of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation, and the other in systematically defunded and segregated communities where the American dream feels out of reach.
In 2008, the US housing market became the epicenter of an unprecedented global economic collapse. Cities like Baltimore have highlighted the stark racial disparities that define many American cities. Owned demonstrates that the crash of suburbia and urban unrest are not unrelated, but both stem from the systematic unequal division of opportunity set into motion by postwar housing policies.
Through the stories of a retired New York City cop, an eccentric Orange County realtor, an aspiring house flipper in the black neighborhoods of Baltimore, and an interracial couple living in the mid-century modern utopian community of Mar Vista, California, the tangled legacy of middle-class homeownership in America is unwound, revealing how the conception of the American Dream came to be a reality for some, but not others.
Subjects & Collections
Festivals & AwardsOFFICIAL SELECTION - Full Frame Documentary Festival 2018
A documentary that uses the rat to explore the complicated history of Baltimore and how racial segregation, redlining, and environmental racism built the American city we see today.
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