Get ready to dive into one of the most violent, drug-infested neighborhoods only to see it transform into the trendy, residential enclave it has become. Many of the old timers figured out how to survive the area when it wa... more »s a ghetto - now the challenge for them is to see if they can survive gentrification. 7TH STREET draws the viewer into a neighborhood that most people were once too afraid to enter. An area that most people only heard rumors about: Alphabet City in NYC?s East Village, once known as the drug capital of the East Coast. The movie explores change in one of the most vital areas of NYC and the complexity of gentrification. Not only is this movie about one block in Manhattan ? it?s about neighborhoods and communities all over the world where progress sometimes comes at the expense of richness of character and diversity. Viewers join in Pais? struggle as he sees his block transform and become a safe place for his newborn son and a trendy neighborhood for the new inhabitants at the expense of his street family. The people who were his role models as a child he now sees homeless in Tompkins Square Park or discovers them dead. 7TH STREET will undoubtedly pull your heartstrings and make you look with fresh eyes at the place you call home.« less
"Josh Pais's 7TH STREET is a touching look at an area and a community that really had a distinct character to it. It evokes strong memories of a New York before the Gap and Starbucks, the New York of the 70's. This documentary is told in a very heartfelt way and is full of colorful characters. Absolutely worth repeat viewings. Saw it when it won the Audience Award at the 2003 Independent Film Festival of Boston."
Why aren't there more docs like this?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you haven't seen Josh Pais' 7th Street yet - do yourself a favor! This doc captures the transformation of one street in New York cities alphabet city from a drug infested, crime ridden area with charm and personality to a haven for yuppies and the nouveau riche. The process by which this is captured is personal to Pais and the story is laid out with integrity and heart felt care. This truly is a must see!"
Really engaging look at snapshots of a NY neighborhood
TB | NYC | 08/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a moving documentary, showing the people behind the faces you walk by everyday. As a New Yorker, it is meaningful to see the history of one of the cities' neighborhoods so beautifully and purely portrayed. Pais hides nothing, and shows the neighborhood's wrinkles, scars, and beauty."
A beautiful, elegiac look at the real Alphabet City
Gina Sigillito | New York, NY USA | 08/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most beautiful documentaries I have seen in a long time. Josh Pais does a masterful job of making the viewer fall in love with the residents of the East Village--and then showing how they have been completely disenfranchised by the young and hip new inhabitatants. Characters like Merlin (the sweet homeless man who greets everyone as they walk down the street), Reno (the lover of Josh Pais's mother) and Mickey (the charming con just struggling to get by) hook you in to the film from the first scene.
But what is most impressive about 7th Street is that it shows how what has happened to this small neighborhood is happening all over New York City. Working class citizens are constantly being uprooted by real esate agents who are looking for the next hot neighborhood.
Josh Pais directed this movie with both skill and passion, and it turned out beautifully."
Interesting look at NYC's evolution
Francy | Chicago, IL | 08/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Josh Pais paints a vivid picture of his East Village neighborhood over the span of several decades. He chronicles not only the lives of some of the colorful charaters that make the block truly a community but also looks at his own experience as a child growing up in the "ghetto" and his feelings at the prospect of raising his own son in a place the police tried to quarantine from the rest of the city."