Owned, A Tale of Two Americas | Chicago Reader

Owned, A Tale of Two Americas

There’s a rich archive of documentaries about mid-century housing policy in America, which simultaneously created suburbs and wealth from home equity for white people and ghettos and poverty for black people. There have also been plenty of films about the 2008 housing market collapse. But in this 2018 documentary director Giorgio Angelini weaves together both histories, delivering an epic yet digestible overview of the way property ownership has both constructed and corroded the wealth and wellbeing of the nation. Over time our racist policies have created monocultures in our built environments, and monocultures are inherently vulnerable. With long intervals of mesmerizing drone footage, clever graphics, and timely intercessions from experts and ordinary folks the lesson doesn’t taste like medicine. Ultimately, Angelini is reiterating the argument that society can’t thrive in a segregated state—and this version feels like something even your most closed-minded relatives could swallow.


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