Awareness Film Night tackles housing affordability and homelessness as its opens its 25th season on Oct. 9.
Push, an eye-opening documentary from Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten, follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, over a year and a half as she exposes the massive financial players turning affordable housing markets in major cities into tradable commodities.
Housing affordability is decreasing at a record pace and homelessness is increasing by alarming rates, according to the film’s premise.
Push follows Farha as she travels to London, New York, Toronto, Valparaiso, Seoul, Barcelona and other cities to talk to people who are being pushed out of their homes and their communities.
She listens to housing activists, squatters, people being evicted, real estate agents, an Italian anti-mafia journalist and economist Joseph Stiglitz and she discovers a number of private equity firms that amalgamate housing and then engage in “renovictions” in cities and towns around the world.
Farha notes that “there’s a huge difference between housing as a commodity and gold as a commodity” and we need to hold governments accountable for permitting this to go on; for not meeting their human rights obligations as declared in the UN Charter of Human Rights, because secure housing is considered a basic human right.
Following the screening of the film, there’s a Q&A with Kelly Roth and Lisa Crossman of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. They are both Sooke residents, who along with members of the Sooke Shelter Society, will answer questions about homelessness in our area.
Awareness Film Night is held at Edward Milne Community School, beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.