Oscilloscope Is Living Los Sures; Partnering with UnionDocs to Bring Restored 1984 Documentary to a Wider Audience


Sydney Tanigawa
(212) 219-4029 ext. 41



(New York, NY) May 2, 2016 — Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to the acclaimed 1984 documentary LOS SURES directed by Diego Echeverria. The film opened theatrically (its debut, 32 years after it was made) on April 15th, exclusively at New York’s Metrograph theater to a stunning $25,000 gross. Now in its second week, the film continues to sell out shows and stands at a cumulative gross of $60,000. Oscilloscope will now expand that footprint, making the film available nationwide, followed by an ancillary release.

Diego Echeverria’s film probes the residents of the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, pre-gentrification. Poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources are the backbone of a complex portrait that also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation.

UnionDocs Christopher Allen said, “It is wonderful to see Los Sures join Oscilloscope’s catalogue of incredible titles. Like us, they are literally based in the neighborhood that the film explores. They understand the power of this film both as a tale of poverty in American cities and as a celebration of the community’s resilience.”

O-Scope’s Dan Berger said, “We couldn’t be more excited to be joining forces with UnionDocs, (who have done such an incredible job to this date), to help expand Los Sures’s footprint. Diego’s film is a fascinating time capsule, expertly presented, and should appeal to audiences not just in New York, but everywhere.”


Diego Echeverria’s film skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.

“It’s a must see for those interested in both the history of Lost New York and the power of nonfiction cinema.” — Cheap The New York Times

Los Sures is both an invaluable record of pre-gentrification Brooklyn and an ode to a community’s resilience.” — BAMcinématek

“The ironies of gentrification will be a chief attraction for this lovely new 4K restoration of the 16mm original. But that theme is just a bonus in a picture whose in-the-trenches look at poverty is humane and, sadly, perpetually timely.” — The Hollywood Reporter

LOS SURES provided the inspiration for LIVING LOS SURES, a project of UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art. Produced over 5 years by 60 artists, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Today, it is the site of a battle between local identity and luxury lifestyle. With the restoration of LOS SURES, a brilliant work of cinéma vérité filmmaking as a starting point, the project has developed into a collection of 40 short films, the interactive documentary 89 STEPS, and the cinematic people’s history SHOT BY SHOT, demonstrating new possibilities for collaboration between an arts institution and its surrounding community to collect memories and share local culture.

Oscilloscope Laboratories is a film production and distribution entity launched in 2008 by Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys. Yauch modeled the company after the indie record labels he grew up around, choosing films and releasing them with the same artistic integrity with which they were made. The company, an extension of Yauch’s recording studio of the same name, has an in-house DVD distribution and production arm, and its paper packaging is reminiscent of the heyday of LP record jackets. Previous and current releases include Lynne Ramsay’s Golden Globe®-nominated WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly; Marshall Curry’s Oscar®-nominated IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT; Oren Moverman’s Oscar®-nominated THE MESSENGER starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson; Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF starring Michelle Williams; Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson’s SAMSARA; Todd Berger’s IT’S A DISASTER, starring David Cross, Julia Stiles, and America Ferrara; Andrew Dosunmu’s Sundance-winning MOTHER OF GEORGE; Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s AFTER TILLER; Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’CLOCK Cheap BOYS; Dan Krauss’s THE KILL TEAM; James Byrkit’s COHERENCE; Jeff Preiss’s LOW DOWN; Florian Habicht’s PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH AND SUPERMARKETS; Joel Potrykus’s BUZZARD; Maxime Giroux’s FELIX AND MEIRA; Daniel Wolfe’s CATCH ME DADDY; Anna Muylaert’s THE SECOND MOTHER; Alice Rohrwacher’s THE WONDERS; re-releases of Manfred Kirchheimer’s STATIONS OF THE ELEVATED and Charlie Ahearn’s JAMEL SHABAZZ STREET PHOTOGRAPHER; David Evans’s WHAT OUR FATHERS DID: A NAZI LEGACY; Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s BODY; and Javier Fuentes-Leon’s THE VANISHED ELEPHANT, Ciro Guerra’s Oscar®-nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT; a re-release of Kelly Reichardt’s debut feature RIVER OF GRASS; and Nicolas Steiner’s ABOVE AND BELOW. Upcoming releases include Piero Messina’s L’ATTESA; Julio Medem’s MA MA; and Anna Rose Holmer’s THE FITS.

UnionDocs (UnDo) is a nonprofit Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas. We bring together a diverse community of experimental media­-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future. We find powerful, thought-provoking works of non-­fiction (film, video, sound, photography, oral history, printed word, and performance) and present over one hundred public events each year, attracting people from across and beyond New York City. The UnDo Collaborative Studio is a ten­-month fellowship program that seeks to bring together individual talents, voices, and stories and create multi­dimensional documentaries. UnionDocs was founded in the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has operated there for nearly a decade.