“Takin’ Place” Documentary Sheds Light on Life in South Chicago
Chicago’s South Side is commonly covered in mainstream news headlines blasting “high” murder rates and emphasizing less positive aspects of the predominantly Black area. Rarely is the coverage of this area focused on its humanity: the people who live their lives in the shadow of the negative media attention. And the new documentary Takin’ Place does just that; illuminating the real, living people of Chicago instead of hype surrounding them.
Takin’ Place from director Cyrus Dowlatshahi seeks to capture the Washington Park and Englewood neighborhoods as places of natural beauty and positive energy. In shooting the spirit of these neighborhoods, he found normal people living their everyday lives. From the joyous Fourth of July celebrations to girl talk in the beauty salon to intimate family conversations, director Dowlatshahi, whose career encompasses work for Al-Jazeera, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel, uses unconventional filming techniques to expose life and culture on the South Side for all its complexity, faults, and beauty.
Per the film’s website:
“TAKIN’ PLACE” is an observational documentary film directed by Cyrus Dowlatshahi about ordinary people and everyday life on the South Side of Chicago. As they work, chill, hustle and survive, Dowlatshahi reveals the common aspects of all neighborhoods and communities around the world: a desire to share, grow and celebrate.
Takin’ Place will world premiere during the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago on Friday Aug. 28th, with a second showing the following night at the same time. Works like this are a part of a growing movement to shake-up the film industry. As with break-out film Dear White People, filmmakers are taking advantage of a lower barrier of entry and finding success and higher visibility. Hopefully, Takin’ Place can achieve the exposure it deserves on the film festival circuit and reach the hearts and minds of those it might not otherwise.
A trailer for the documentary is below:
Photo credit: SiskelFilmCenter.org
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