From Behind the Rent Strike (1974), dir. Nick Broomfield (courtesy Anthology Film Archives)

Around the world, there is a crisis in affordable housing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed this issue to the brink. Millions who were already perpetually living on the knife edge of home security have been among those hit hardest by quarantine and the attendant loss of paid work. With this in mind, the programmers at Anthology Film Archives have put together a new streaming series of films about “housing rights, displacement, and the meaning of home.” Home Truthswhich kicked off several weeks ago, will continue through the month of October.

This program has a format distinct from that of most other online screening series. Rather than acquire a simple roster of titles, Anthology has collated a broad range of ways to watch different films. While the theater is hosting movies such as Frederick Wiseman’s Public Housing (1997) and Ayo Akingbade’s Street 66 (2018) on its Vimeo page, the program also includes copious links to other sources for the lineup, from the Criterion Channel to filmmakers’ personal sites to nonprofits, including numerous free titles. All of this is to make the program in line with the spirit of these movies, which frequently touch on themes of community solidarity and cooperative power.

Anthology’s program description reads:

At their best, these films bring into relief the vital importance of “home” as a source of emotional and cultural meaning in people’s lives — as a necessity for both body and soul. They identify displacement as a force that robs people not only of the roof over their heads, but also — perhaps even more destructively — of their sense of their own identities, their individual and communal histories, and of their culture.

Anthology is presenting the series in association with Shelterforce, a nonprofit resource for housing rights activism. The theater also recommends this list of housing and tenants rights resources from the New York Public Library.

When: September 16–October 31
Where: Online via Anthology Film Archives

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Dan Schindel

Dan Schindel is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Brooklyn, and a former associate editor at Hyperallergic. His portfolio and links are here.