Movies That Matter

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
  • March 7, 2013 - 7:00pm

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth  — 2011, NR, 83 minutes. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the wholesale changes that took place in the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development in St. Louis. At the film’s historical center is an analysis of the massive impact of the 1949 Housing Act, which built Pruitt-Igoe and other high-rise public housing of the Fifties and Sixties and changed the American city in ways that made it unrecognizable from a generation earlier, privileging some and leaving others in its wake. This critical piece of legislation also initiated the so-called urban renewal program and prompted the process of mass suburbanization, which emptied American cities of their residents, business and industry. Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. The film explores the social, economic and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and seeks to set the historical record straight by examining the interests in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation and re-evaluating the rumors and the stigma.

A moderated discussion with special guests will follow the film.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.  Program begins at 7 pm. Tickets are FREE to the general public and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis beginning at 6:30 pm. The auditorium seats 248.