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A Pile of Dirt

Catalogue Number:  RHO000
Producer:  RhoJan Films
Producers:  Mayers, Janis
Directors:  Spencer, Rhoma
Producing Agencies:  Rhojan Films
Subject:  Canadian Social Issues, Diversity, Documentary, Economics, Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2022
Running Time:  15:29

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A Pile of Dirt is short Docu-Film unearthing a Regent Park of the past through the eyes of a new resident and the romanticism of a former resident. The more things change the more some remain the same except the spirit of the dirt. 

This film shines a light on how gentrification alters community: a neighbourhood characterized solely as blighted by crime is "cleaned up," but for the benefit of developers and incoming middle-class people, and not for the existing residents who get pushed out. 

In the media reports there is no communication of the strong community ties that exist in these neighbourhoods; that an important fabric of life has been disrupted…we can choose to recreate it but its passage is recorded in the earth itself. The spirit of dirt, its indigenous peoples on whose land Regent Park is situated. 

The film is at the intersection where a former resident meets the newcomer who benefits from its gentrification unbeknownst to its spirit of community in the past. It is important to note how the demographics changed with gentrification, and the subterranean effort by the system to keep a particular demographic out. It is systemic racism in full flight.

This film is about Gentrification and the deliberate and calculated displacement of a people. Yet on another level, how this gentrified space benefits a newcomer animating its spaces with art and culture.

Written and Directed by Rhoma Spencer with additional Narrative by Janis Mayers.

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