<i>Takeover</i> documents the first nationally synchronized homeless action: On May 1, 1989, the homeless population of twelve cities moved into vacant, federally owned HUD homes. The film covers this action in the eight cities of New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tucson, Detroit, Oakland, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and offers an insight into what may be an emerging movement.
Homeless activists have organized their constituents to go on the offensive fueled by their seething anger at the Housing and Urban Development's alleged squandering of dollars during the Reagan administration. Promises of a homeless program that would turn over a percentage of HUD homes for use by the homeless have gone unfulfilled. Takeover portrays these indi-viduals whose lives have been devastated and now are being renewed by the hope of a solution.
Filmed in the cinema vent& of photojournalism, <i>Takeover</i> has all the urgency of an on-the-spot account. It is as aggressive as its subjects, with its footage intelligently fashioned into a non-stop flurry of activism. It is a timely documentary that explores a growing problem, but also offers a solution. More importantly, <i>Takeover</i> displays the lack of a unified response and a growing frustration, not only on the part of the people living in the streets, but also by police and city officials who must grapple with the homeless problem daily. Whereas in most cities the activists were arrested for moving into HUD homes, in Philadelphia city officials have inaugurated a hands-off policy as a sign of protest at the government 's insensitivity. <i>Takeover</i> puts us in the middle of a current and crucial problem.
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