Contact: Kelly Hargraves
(323) 662-1930


First Run Features Announces Theatrical Premiere of
Opening at New York's IFC Center on January 20, 2012

New York Press Screening

Thursday, January 5th at 10 a.m.
IFC Center
323 6th Avenue (at West Third Street) | 212-924-7771

RSVP by January 4th to:

ONLINE SCREENERS also available

THE PRUITT-IGOE MYTH tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home.

It began as a housing marvel. Built in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe was heralded as the model public housing project of the future, "the poor man's penthouse." Two decades later, it ended in rubble - its razing an iconic event that the architectural theorist Charles Jencks famously called the death of modernism. The footage and images of its implosion have helped to perpetuate a myth of failure, a failure that has been used to critique Modernist architecture, attack public assistance programs, and stigmatize public housing residents.

THE PRUITT-IGOE MYTH seeks to set the historical record straight. To examine the interests involved in Pruitt-Igoe's creation. To re-evaluate the rumors and the stigma. To implode the myth.

THE PRUITT-IGOE MYTH has played at dozens of festivals around the world including Los Angeles, True/False, Full Frame, Big Sky and SilverDocs. It won Best Documentary Feature at the Oxford Film Festival and at Kansas City FilmFest and was recently awarded the International Documentary Association's ABCNews Videosource Award for best use of archival footage. It is slated to receive the American Historical Association's prestigious John E. O'Connor Film Award for outstanding interpretation of history.

Director Chad Friedrichs has been working as an independent filmmaker for over a decade. His previous feature-length documentaries are "Jandek on Corwood", a film tracing the cult following of the underground musician Jandek, and "First Impersonator", a look at the world of presidential look-alikes. Chad teaches film and video courses in the Digital Filmmaking program at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, the second-oldest women's college in the nation.


"Captivating and visually compelling." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Superb. An uncommonly artful example of cinematic journalism." - Variety

"An intelligent meditation on the decline of American cities." - Art Forum

83 minutes, English, Digital, 2011, Documentary
Directed by: Chad Freidrichs
Produced by: Chad Freidrichs, Jaime Freidrichs, Paul Fehler, Brian Woodman
Script by: Chad and Jaime Freidrichs
Music by: Benjamin Balcom
Narrator: Jason Henry
Interviews: Sylvester Brown, Robert Fishman, Joseph Heathcott, Brian King, Joyce Ladner, Ruby Russell, Valerie Sills, Jacquelyn Williams