Piece Comment

Review of Movin' Out the Bricks

The high rise public housing projects that lined the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago's South Side are widely regarded as a mistake. But does tearing down these high rises and dispersing thousands of people to private market apartments automatically improve their lives? That's the question that producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister attempt to answer in this half-hour documentary. Coco is the focus and narrator of this program. She's immediately impressed with her new apartment, which by most standards is humble: "This is like the Bahamas. This is literally like the Bahamas compared to Stateway ... I don't see no thugs hanging out on the corners." However, a few weeks later, she's admits to being bored with her new surroundings because there are "no friends around. It's boring. I miss Stateway." She also misses the beer drinking and pot smoking. Soon, her landlord scolds her for having too many people hanging outside the apartment. "I guess we just need to get out of our ghetto mentality," Coco says. This is an inside look at a person who is trying to turn her life around. It's done without expert interviews and without narration by the producers. It's sad, touching and insightful.