PUSH

Sweden, Canada 2019

Synopsis

Landlords without faces. Apartments without tenants. A documentary exploring the new, unlivable city.

Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world. Incomes are not. PUSH sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, our increasingly unlivable cities and an escalating crisis that has an effect on us all. This is not gentrification, it’s a different kind of monster.

The film follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she’s travelling the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of the city and why. “I believe there’s a huge difference between housing as a commodity and gold as a commodity. Gold is not a human right, housing is,” says Leilani.

Directors Statement

PUSH is my journey to understand why life in our cities is getting so unaffordable. For two years I filmed with Leilani Farha, we had daily Whatsapp chats discussing the issue. Early on it was clear that we were lacking a language to describe the ongoing development. Words like gentrification are not sharp enough at describing the issue. It’s a global disease when homes are turned into assets in a financial game. The gentrification talk creates a divide. Blaming a hip coffee shop or an art gallery for pushing out the poor is just silly. There are other - much stronger forces in action. If citizens and politicians want to push back the invasion of speculative money from hedge funds and criminals, we need a deeper understanding.

My hope is that PUSH will form a platform for better conversation. That people in countries around the world realise that the development in their town is not unique. There’s a global pattern, a business model repeated over and over again. A new kind of landlord, a hedge fund whose customers are not the tenants but the investors. PUSH is now out on a global journey, at cinemas and festivals. Everywhere, I meet people who through the film now feel less lonely. Just more angry.

Director's Biography

Fredrik Gertten is an award-winning Swedish director and journalist. His latest works BECOMING ZLATAN (2016), BIKES VS CARS (2015), BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* (2012) and BANANAS!* (2009) have met audiences in over 100 countries and screened at leading festivals. In 1994, Fredrik founded the production company WG Film. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent and columnist for radio, TV and press in Africa, Latin America, Asia and around Europe. Today he combines filmmaking with a role as a creative producer at WG Film – one of Sweden’s most prominent documentary production companies, famous for local stories with a global understanding and impact.

In October 2017, Fredrik was named Honorary Doctor at Malmö University’s Faculty of Culture and Society for his work as a documentary filmmaker.

Filmography:
2016 - BECOMING ZLATAN, co-directed with Magnus Gertten
2015 - BIKES VS CARS
2011 - BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*
2009 - BANANAS!*
2005 - THE SOCIALIST, THE ARCHITECT AND THE TWISTED TOWER
2005 - AN ORDINARY FAMILY
2003 - BYE BYE MALMÖ/JUST A PIECE OF STEEL
2002 - THE WAY BACK, TRUE BLUE 2, co-directed with Magnus Gertten and Stefan Berg
2001 - THE DEATH OF A WORKING MAN'S NEWSPAPER
2000 - WALKING ON WATER, co-directed with Lars Westman
1998 - TRUE BLUE, co-directed with Magnus Gertten and Stefan Berg
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Fredrik Gertten

Written by: Fredrik Gertten

Produced by: Margarete Jangård

Cinematography: Janice D’Avila, Iris Ng

Editing: Erik Wall Bäfving

Original Score: Florencia Di Concilio

Sound: Martin Hennel

Animation: Charlotte Rodenstedt

Main Cast: Roberto Saviano (himself), Leilani Farha (herself), Saskia Sassen (herself), Joseph Stiglitz (himself)

Visual Effects: Jörgen Persson

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Documentary Selection 2019