This Side of History
This Side of History is a meditation on home, deracination, and belonging. Moving through the landscape of Los Angeles under redevelopment and interweaving disparate narrative fragments, the film peers at history as reflections in a pane of glass. Looming cranes presage displacement. Images of familial pasts illuminate the corners of an empty house. The film accompanies the filmmaker as he attempts to unravel the enigma of his mother, whose family emigrated to Los Angeles from Russia in the early 20th century. In the process, it follows the ruminations of his friend, activist-historian Shmuel Gonzalez, as he reflects on the history of Boyle Heights, a neighborhood that has been home to immigrants and refugees for the past hundred years. What, the film asks, does it mean to feel connected to a place? What causes one to leave while another struggles to remain? In the early 20th century, Boyle Heights (“the Ellis Island of the West”) was home to Jewish immigrants fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe, many of whom fought the US government’s restrictive immigration policies following Hitler’s rise to power. Since WWII, it has been a center of Mexican-American life. Today it is undergoing rapid redevelopment and faces a new crisis of place. This Side of History navigates the divergent fates of the neighborhood, reflecting on what has changed and what has stayed the same, contemplating the conditions for experience in a moment of violent transition.
John Hulsey est artiste et réalisateur. Il a reçu un « Master of Fine Arts » à l’Université de Californie Los Angeles et une maîtrise en cinéma à l’Université de Paris-III Sorbonne Nouvelle. Il termine actuellement un Ph.D. en études visuelles et filmiques à Harvard. Son travail a été montré à l’international dans des lieux tels que le pavillon américain de la Biennale d’architecture à Venise, ou le Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts à Harvard. This Side of History est son premier film.
- PRODUCTION : John Hulsey