Praise for the The Area:

      "The Area is an eye-opening saga of resistance" ★★★★

        — Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

      "[I]t sounds like the premise of a movie from the 1930s ... beautiful and haunting at the same time" ★★★

        — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

      The Area is "an urgent and compelling documentary about a dimension of city that's rarely seen on the big screen."

        — Harrison Sherrod, Cinefile

      The film "is a sturdy hallucination in urban geo-location and physical and psychic dislocation."

        — Ray Pride, New City

      "The Area is a complex, issue-driven documentary analyzing the erasure of a neighborhood, and shining a light on the meaning of community."

        — LaToya Cross, South Side Weekly

      The Area "brings new meaning to the phrase 'the wrong side of the tracks.'"

        — David Lamble, The Bay Area Reporter

      "It's a film that is both about holding onto and restoring dignity in the face of insurmountable odds ... a profoundly emotional work that should be seen by all."

        — Steve Prokopy, Third Coast Review

    For additional background, read the Metropolitan Planning Council's Marisa Novara's essay about the film, and check out interviews with members of the The Area's team in outlets including Rolling Out, the Chicago Reader, Cine-Cast, Live from the Heartland, the Gene Siskel Film Center, The Ben Joravsky Show, South Side Weekly, Windy City Live, and WBEZ.

    The first documentary short film from the project was published by Gapers Block as part of its documentary film series, The Grid. The short was celebrated by Chicago magazine, Chicago Public Radio, South Side Weekly, and IndieWire, and it won a Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club.

    Praise for the Lisagor Award-winning documentary short from The Area:

      "It's a stunning film, capturing the atmosphere that keeps remaining residents in the neighborhood despite the population decline around them."

      "For the past few years, Chicago photographer David Schalliol has been telling us--showing us--that Chicago's West and South Sides are disappearing. Building by building; block by block.

      As a native South Sider, I see Schalliol's haunting photos of clipped rowhouses, single-family homes standing alone against wide vacant lots and I am reminded of Johnny Ola's great and wistful line in Godfather II: 'One by one, our old friends are gone. Death--natural or not...'

      ...[C]heck out The Area, the fascinating mini-documentary that appeared on Gapers Block The Grid series this week. Here, Schalliol and his team tell the story of an entire quadrant of Englewood ... that's being wiped away...

      It's not building by building, here. It's the disappearance of an entire neighborhood. Natural or not."

      The Area "displays the emotions prevailing at a time when the expansion project suddenly seemed like a concrete reality: dissent, dismay, resignation, and gallows-humor exuberance."