Praise for Chad Freidrichs' THE PRUITT-IGOE MYTH
"Devastating…an engulfing real-life horror story as well as a testimony to the dominance of the image in American public discourse. Chad Freidrichs employs evocative archival footage and incisive firsthand reportage to brush away the clichéd and often prejudiced conventional wisdom that puts the blame for the project’s demise on its black residents. Lucid, tenacious. The photographs of the brand-new Pruitt-Igoe buildings sting with an electric poignancy." - Michael Sragow, The New Yorker
"A painstaking illustration of how racism, classism, and government serving the interests of big business all shaped the now-myth-like horrors of St. Louis's notorious Pruitt-Igoe housing project. Maddening, riveting." - Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"Superb. An uncommonly artful example of cinematic journalism." - Robert Koehler, Variety
"A deeply impressive and disturbing exposé." - David Noh, Film Journal
"An intelligent meditation on the decline of American cities." - Art Forum
"Compelling, exceptional. It correctly finds value in preserving this disappearing American experience on film and should serve as a prototype for similar efforts of cultural preservation." - Dante A. Ciampaglia, Architectural Record
"Armed with archival footage and wrenching interviews, filmmaker Chad Freidrichs revisits one of our nation’s darkest hours—and emerges with a scrupulous, revelatory consideration… a heartbreaking alarm call for a society that desperately needs to learn from its worst mistakes." - Eric Hynes, Time-Out New York
"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, The New York Times
"Chad Freidrichs’s documentary does more than trace the ups and downs of those infamous buildings…The Pruitt-Igoe Myth should help frame a discussion that this country didn’t then, and still doesn’t, have an effective urban housing policy."
- Nora Lee Mandel, Film Forward
"Original footage from Pruitt-Igoe’s early days, including a promotional reel replete with a buoyant, 1950s-era voiceover and cheerful primary colours, runs up against desolate photographs of the project’s decline…carries a visceral punch…a powerful narrative."
- The Economist
"Clear-eyed… Chad Freidrichs’ “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” doesn’t offer easy conclusions."
- Sara Stewart, New York Post
"A powerful film that deserves the attention and critical acclaim it has received."
- Shelley Gabert, International Documentary Association
"Captivating and visually compelling." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Moving and revelatory, compelling." - Chris Barsanti, FilmCritic.com
"Haunting, mesmerizing." - Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"Revealing, fascinating." - This Week in New York
"A fascinating study." - Jennifer Merin, About.com
"Strong in sociology, and edited deftly… As always, once people are shown to be human, it’s hard for the audience to remain smug." - David D’Arcy, The Architect’s Newspaper
"It’s a painful, informative treatise on the decline of a post-war American city, viewed through the lens of one hard-hit housing project." - Architects and Artisans
"A thought-provoking, cinematic picking of the bones." - Kam Williams, The Cincinnati Herald
"Fredrichs takes audiences step by painful step through how business interests, the welfare system and clauses in the Federal Housing Act contributed to the demise of a place that was once so full of promise." - Vatisha Smith, New York Press
"Smart, insightful and often beautiful." - Cynthia Fuchs, Popmatters