Decade of Fire
DIRECTOR: GRETCHEN HILDEBRAN AND VIVIAN VáZQUEZ IRIZARRY
We all know the official story of South Bronx blight in the 1970s—“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning” and so on—but borough native Vazquez’s vital documentary tells another side of the tale, uncovering government policies of methodical negligence that abandoned Black and Latino neighborhoods, leaving them to wither and their residents to scatter, those left behind conveniently taking the blame for the destruction. A cold case investigation by a filmmaker who lived through it all, naming the true culprits who were trying to kill these neighborhoods and explaining why—and also a touching testimony to those who survived their baptism by fire, indefatigably remaining to build anew.
Photo ©1980 Perla De Leon