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The New Los Angeles
Available as: VHS and DVD
Catalog #: 0151
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This engaging documentary explores the complexities of inclusion in Los Angeles -- the nation's largest "majority-minority" city and the city with the nation's largest divide between rich and poor. The film provides a riveting portrait of a city in often turbulent transition, beginning in 1973 with the election of Mayor Tom Bradley -- the first African-American mayor of a major city without a black majority -- and concluding with the political empowerment of Latinos and the election of Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles's first Latino mayor in more than 130 years.
"The New Los Angeles" looks beyond the Hollywood dreamscape to a dynamic new city, one grappling with the same issues that are becoming commonplace throughout the nation: immigration, globalization, de-industrialization, economic inequality, and a shrinking middle class. The film profiles the efforts of immigrants and the working poor, in coalition with community organizations, labor unions, and elected officials, to transform the environment in which they live and to make the city of Los Angeles accountable to its residents.
"The New Los Angeles" explores the shifting political ground that is shaping the nation's future and proving that the American dream remains a powerful motivator. This is a story about forging coalitions, nurturing inclusion, seeding innovation, salvaging identity, and building community -- a story that resonates to every corner of contemporary America.
The film is essential viewing in courses in sociology, American studies, ethnic studies, political science, public policy, and urban studies. It was directed by award-winning filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb. It is the third part of the four-part series, California and the American Dream.
For information on the other films in the series, see:
California's "Lost" Tribes
The Price of Renewal
Ripe for Change
"This is a portrait of a changing Los Angeles hidden from the public point of view. The film illuminates how race and immigration intersect with economic and political forces to shape the priorities of a city and response of its people. It is a coming-of-age story, where the intersection of electoral politics, grassroots organizing and coalitions have transformed a city. The story told here foreshadows the choices that cities across the nation will face when increased immigration, the proliferation of low-wage jobs, and a shrinking middle class force city leaders to rethink their priorities. It is a hopeful story about ordinary people changing their lives and their city, a story with national implications. Students and faculty in a wide variety of courses and disciplines -- including urban planning, sociology, economics, theology, ethnic studies, social work, public policy, political science, and history -- will love this film." -- Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Prof. of Politics and Director, Urban and Environmental Policy Program, Occidental College; Co-author of The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City and Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century
Photo: copyright Manuel Roman