The Other Barrio is an upcoming film based on a short story by Alejandro Murguía, a poet, novelist, professor and founder of San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center. Shot on location in the Mission District last year, the project has only six more days to go on the crowd-funding site, Indiegogo to scrounge up much needed post production funds. After learning a bit about the 62 year old Murguía and reading a few of his poems, I am an eager new admirer and will be seeking out his books immediately – like this one in particular, This War Called Love. Born in Cali, raised in Mexico, he’s been in San Francisco since the 70s where his persona and dedication to his Raza has made him into a sort of old school keeper and guardian of the Chicano Arts and History community up in the bay. Indeed Mayor Ed Lee honored Murguía by naming him Poet Laureate of San Francisco, a two year term. Read more about him on this SF Gate article and read a few of his poems online here.
In the film, Richard J. Montoya stars as Roberto Morales, a building inspector who investigates a suspicious arson on 16th & Valencia (this really happened btw) which leaves 7 innocent dead. Realizing he’s perfectly set up as the fall guy, he solo treads the ice with a local big business (nee crime) boss, a matron real estate tycoon and naturally crosses paths with a beautiful lady and unrequited love from his past, as darker and bigger picture begins to emerge – one in which only a few feast off the sad and vexing neighborhood destruction and displacement for new rapacious hip SF business, all at the cost of its vibrant and humble people who have given their richness to the city.
A veiled look at the gentrification, under the table modern and accepted corruption and most of all the demolishing and stripping of the city’s diverse cultural history, this noir screen adaptation has much more cultural weight and power than most noir films. The film is directed and produced by Dante Betteo a Chilean born San Francisco bay area filmmaker and Louis F. Dematteis, also a SF native filmmaker.
With less than a week to go, the film has only managed to raise two thousand dollars of its 60,000 goal. Unlike Kickstarter, on Indieagogo the filmmakers are able to keep whatever amount they can raise so anything you can chip in would greatly help. This is a story really worth telling. Consider giving a few bucks to Indieagogo, or sharing the link on your Facebook, liking the film’s Facebook page and check out the website
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