Living Los Sures
a UnionDocs production
including Los Sures, 1984
a film by Diego Echeverría
56 minutes / color
DVD also includes 6 LIVING LOS SURES short films in addition to the feature.
“An authenticity that has been captured by no fiction film I’ve ever seen.” – L.A. Weekly
“Both an invaluable record of pre-gentrification Brooklyn and an ode to a community’s resilience.” – BAMcinématek
LOS SURES • 1984
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.
“A massive mixed-media project that defies easy categorization.” – IndieWire
“It’s enough to make fans of the Up series salivate.” – Brooklyn Magazine
LIVING LOS SURES
Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, 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.
This rich collection of documentaries was created in the UNIONDOCS Collaborative Studio by over 60 filmmakers from many countries around the world. All the short films (6 on this DVD and 30 more online) take the film LOS SURES by Diego Echeverría as a starting point and approach some of the important issues, characters, and stories present in the same neighborhood today. These projects have reached local residents through more than a dozen outdoor events and community screenings to date. LIVING LOS SURES was recognized as “a model for art institutions to interact with their community” by ArtInfo. It premiered at the New York Film Festival and has been presented at the Brooklyn Museum and many international film festivals such as Distrital, FIDBA, RIDM, CIFF and Doclisboa.
OF MEMORY & LOS SURES • 2011
Laurie Sumiye & Andrew Parsons
Animated oral histories of longtime residents reflect a collective memory of Los Sures.
FOR SALE IN LOS SURES • 2013
Andrew Hinton, Federica Sasso & Maria Rosa Badia
A curious range of transaction and exchange available only in the Southside.
THIRD SHIFT • 2013
Anthony Simon, Michael Vass & Tamer Hassan
Ten years after the closure of the Domino Sugar Brooklyn Refinery, two workers return.
COOKING FOR MANUEL • 2012
Elizabeth Lawrence & Sonia Gonzalez
A newcomer attempts to create a classic neighborhood dish with the help of a local merchant.
BEFORE AFTER • 2011
Daniel Terna & Michael Kugler
Five vignettes of varying cinematic approaches create a complex portrait of a place.
ÁLVARO • 2014
Daniel Wilson, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandra Lazarowich & Chloe Zimmerman
A meditation on memory and perseverance while following a resident’s daily route.
Visit the Living Los Sures website where you can engage with interactive documentary projects and several short films made in the neighborhood today.