Class Divide

About

Acclaimed filmmaker Marc Levin explores the effects of hyper-gentrification and rising economic disparity in the NYC  neighbourhood of West Chelsea, in the final film of his documentary trilogy with producing partner Daphne Pinkerson (Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags). On one side of the intersection of 10th Ave. and 26th St. sits Avenues: The World School, an elite, state-of-the art private school (pre-K through 12th grade) with a $40,000 plus per year price tag. On the other side sits the Elliott-Chelsea public-housing projects, home to thousands of underemployed and underserved residents living mostly below the poverty line. Through the stories of young people from both sides of the street, we learn what it is like to live here, in the shadow of The High Line, a celebrated elevated park that has spawned skyrocketing property values that are among the highest in the city. As we see, the juxtaposition of “haves and have-nots” in West Chelsea underscores a growing problem in many urban meccas around the country, as low-income residents are feeling the pressure of new money and luxury living that may eventually force them to move out of the very neighborhoods where they were born and raised.    

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