The Pruitt-igoe Myth: An Urban History
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The Pruitt-igoe Myth: An Urban History
Filmmaker Chad Freidrichs attempts to dispel the myths surrounding St. Louis' Pruitt-Igoe housing project by examining the rise and fall of the once-promising development within a historical context. Constructed in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe offered people who once lived in poverty the change to enjoy modern living in a convenient urban setting. But by the late 1960s Pruitt-Igoe was overrun with crime, and the following decade it was demolished. As a result, Pruitt-Igoe is often cited as an example of both failed Modern Architecture and public planning. By looking a bit deeper and examining the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The personal stories told by former residents add a poignancy to the broad trends the film examines."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
""The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" doesn't offer easy conclusions."
‑ Sara Stewart, New York Post
"Urban decay finds home in Pruitt-Igoe"
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"St. Louis housing project is immortalized as a symbol of failure"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"I quibble about facts emphasized or omitted, [but] the memorable images, valuable personal testimonies and... huge empty lot should help frame a discussion [on] urban policy."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"Pruitt-Igoe was the first, and most famous, example of the failure of that sort of public housing."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"In some ways, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth is more elegy than analysis."
‑ Mark Jenkins, NPR
"Myth convinces that St. Louis failed Pruitt-Igoe, and not the other way around."
‑ Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix
"A thought-provoking, cinematic picking of the bones of the scattered exoskeleton of a once-promising 'poor man's penthouse.'"
‑ Kam Williams,
"Deeply impressive and disturbing exposť of what went terribly wrong with one hopeful post-War American housing experience."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Using archival footage and interviews with former residents, Freidrichs adds human dimension and historical context to what is often viewed in simple terms as a misguided blip."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"This history is too recent to seem dry, and the film gets an added emotional punch from interviews with former tenants, whose memories mix fondness with anger and loss."
‑ Rachel Saltz, New York Times
"Captivating, engrossing and enraging."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"The drugs, fear and violence cannot be shown but are palpable in the speakers' memories."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"The film ends on a note of courage, and a call-to-action that we "remember," naturally, but we can't completely buy it: What Freidrichs has accomplished is a portrait of unknowability."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Pruitt-igoe Myth: An Urban History on Rotten Tomatoes