Best of Hot Docs: Slums: Cities of Tomorrow

(Canada, 2014, 81 mins)


One billion people on our planet—one in six—live in shantytowns, slums or squats. Slums: Cities of Tomorrow challenges conventional thinking to propose that slums are in fact the solution, not the problem, to urban overcrowding caused by the massive migration of people to cities. The film explores communities in India, Morocco, Turkey, France, New Jersey and Quebec, offering an intimate look at the inhabitants and families who, through resilience and ingenuity, have built homes that suit their needs for shelter. Experts like Robert Neuwirth (Shadow Cities), Jeremy Seabrook (Pauperland) and architect Nicolas Reeves explode the notion that a slum must be a breeding ground for criminal activity. The reality is quite different: slums are as diverse as the cities they surround, often offering a more accurate representation of what community ought to mean—an experience where sharing is essential and social hope can flourish. (Lynne Fernie)

"3/4: The film challenges the ingrained prejudice that leads many urban governments to withhold basic services from squatters and force them into apartment blocks." Globe and Mail

"A celebration of the perseverance and creativity of some of the poorest people in the world." Pretty Clever Films