Documentaries. ‘Spanish Lake.’ A Tale of Housing Discrimination, White Flight, and Local Government. Less Than 10 Miles From Ferguson.

Spanish Lake

Directed by Phillip Andrew Morton and produced by Matt Jordan Smith, Spanish Lake documents the small community of Spanish Lake, Missouri, a mere 8 miles from Ferguson, Missouri. Spanish Lake serves as a microcosm of the systemic oppression that pervades the housing market in communities across the country, marginalizing black people in a myriad of ways.

Spanish Lake is a bold and uncompromising documentary focused on economic oppression in the suburb of Spanish Lake, Missouri. Operating without a local government, the lack of community leadership has disastrous effects, including a mass exodus of the white population in the late 1990’s. The themes of the film parallel America’s growing political divide, underlying racism, and rise of anti-government sentiment. Highlighted in the film is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case from 1971, spearheaded by then HUD Secretary George Romney, which changed the course of public housing for the nation.

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