January 03, 2011

Gangsta City: lost free cinema of the ghetto

"Cabrini-Green is a Chicago Housing Authority public housing development on Chicago's Near North Side.
At its peak, Cabrini-Green was home to 15,000 people, living in mid- and high-rise apartment buildings.
Over the years, gang violence and neglect created terrible conditions for the residents and the name Cabrini-Green became synonymous with the problems associated with public housing in the United States."


Cabrini-Green is where the Candyman film is set: the ghetto par excellence and America's most dangerous place.
In the mid Nineties the city of Chicago received funds to redevelop the area: most housing projects were bound to demolition and over 5,000 people were forced to move away with almost no grant of relocation.
Right now I read the last Cabrini-Green high-rise has been closed: yet some inhabitants declared they are not ready to leave.
In 2006 a video called Gangsta City was supposed to be released documenting the final years of the Cabrini projects from the inside.

"Gangsta City is a full length feature documentary film filmed over 5 years (2001-06) entirely at the Cabrini-Green housing project in Chicago, IL. (…) Virtually the entire film has been shot by the residents themselves and virtually the entire soundtrack has been produced and performed by the residents themselves. This is a movie that is by Cabrini about Cabrini and for Cabrini. (…) It has been produced with virtually zero budget and no outside backing, funding or help. This is a true independent film. It has been shot with a Sony VX-2000, no other equipment has been used in the making of this film: one camera, one computer."
[via somanyshrimp.com]

This seven-minute trailer dates back to that time and as far as I know the film never actually came out:

Not to be confused with the episode of the History Channel TV series Gangland: appropriately called Gangster City, it's half an hour of brutally real footage commented by a bombastic voice-over. Stream it here.


  1. Yep, the film never came out.

  2. They sell the movie in Thor networks for roughly 100 $ per copy.

    1. So where can I find that?? Also what are the songs in the trailer???