review of new documentary on San Francisco - BOOM - THE SOUND OF

Steve Fesenmaier (
Thu, 21 Nov 2002 06:45:59 -0800 (PST)

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Boom – the Sound of Eviction
96 mins. 2002 Whispered Media

review by Steve Fesenmaier, Graffiti magazine, Charleston, West Virginia

As a person not obsessed with the American definitions of success –
maximum money, maximum fame, I have spent the last 24 years living in
West Virginia. During this time the creeping effects of yuppies became
an avalanche, gentrifying large parts of the country including my home
city of Minneapolis. I always felt sorry for the people of San
Francisco, in particular natives. I even once met a native of San
Francisco, living in Florida of course.

Finally I have seen a wonderful, intense documentary about how some
people in San Francisco fought back. I was never more impressed…. I felt
like I did at the recent Flooded Out Film Festival, helping show the
people of WV some recent films about the devastation caused by our own
extreme version of “gentrification”- mountaintop removal. I loved
everything about this film – the story, the editing, the music, and most
importantly, the many people. I kept thinking of the yuppies Erin
Brockovitch goes to see in San Francisco, the “suits,” and what total
jerks they were.

I myself have been very happy since the bubble burst. After
seeing this film, you may be also. I watched the great film, “dot.con,”
that was aired on PBS. The film shows that virtually everyone involved
in the bubble was a criminal – the computer nerds, the banks, the media,
and the government regulators. That film showed it from the top down –
this film shows it from the street level up.

At least one person I know was in the film – Gray Brechin, author of
“Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin.” He was a leader in
the fight to stop Ken Dowlin and David Price, recent director of the WV
Library Commission (who personally tried to destroy the agency and the
state library association, and did force out about half of the WVLC
employees…I had to hire two lawyers to prevent him from succeeding,
which he largely did, destroying Film Services, obliterating the three
websites I had listing all of the agency’s 16 mm films, all VHS copies,
and all WV/Appalachian films, throwing away a 20 year collection of film
posters worth at least $50,000 and most recently, throwing away ALL WVLC
copies of WV’s most famous film, “Dancing Outlaw.”) from destroying the
San Francisco Public Library. I was looking for others I know, like
Andrea Grimes and others…I am sure there are some I didn’t recognize.

For some reason, the film is being distributed out of North Carolina. It
only costs $20 for individuals. I strongly suggest that everyone buy a
copy of this film, watch it, show it to your church members, and
everyone else you can find. To see how the poorest people in our society
successfully fight back against the corporations and their stooges, most
notably mayor Willie Brown, is heartwarming. It is even better than
seeing “Erin Brockovitch” – no T & A to confuse you. There are lots of
great artists, singers, musicians, street leaders, parades, and shocking
footage of the corporate monsters that try to control us.

If you love Michael Moore’s films, have a good sense of humor – the film
is very humorous in parts, very tragic in others – buy this film!

Individual Price - $20 donation + $3 postage
Institutional Rate - $200 + $3 postage
Boom The Movie
PO Box 1167
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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