Screening: Park Avenue – Money, Power and the American Dream + Q&A
This film is part of Why Poverty?, a cross media event, online and on TV, using films to get people talking about poverty. The screening will be followed by a Q&A (via Skype) with director Alex Gibney
New York’s Park Avenue runs the length of Manhattan before crossing the river into the Bronx. The long stretch between Grand Central Terminal and 96th Street is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Ten minutes to the north, over the Harlem River, Park Avenue enters the South Bronx. Here, more than half the residents receive food stamps, unemployment has reached 19% and children are 20 times more likely to be killed than their neighbours to the south.
In the palatial apartments of 740 Park Avenue, the wealthy are visited by presidents and senators, who are promised millions of campaign dollars in exchange for lower taxes. Residents of Park Avenue in Bronx can not influence presidents, suffer cuts in public spending and have seen the door to social mobility close. Through the story of the two Park Avenues, director Alex Gibney puts forward an eloquent argument that the extreme wealth of a few has been used to impose their ideas on the rest of America.
The American Dream poses an image of America that offers individual freedom and equal opportunity, but in recent years this has been tarnished. Today it is virtually impossible for those born in to poverty to climb the ladder of opportunity. Gibney gets to grips with inequality in America by focusing on how the system of privilege is kept in place and stacked against the poor of the country.
Alex Gibney is an Oscar, Emmy and Grammy award-winning producer and director.
Directed by Alex Gibney