Do you know squat?
"Adverse Possession" explores the lives of a homeless band of East Village activists fighting eviction and gentrification.
By JOSHUA TANZER
"Adverse Possession" is a tale of '90s New York, following a band of young anarchists in the rapidly gentrifying East Village. They are led by a charismatic redheaded kid called "Cud" Cuddihy (Scott Wood), whose trademark is a bright red jacket with an "A" for anarchy painted on the back.
When we first see him, he has spied a crowd that has gathered around a squatters' eviction from a building slated for renovation, and he maneuvers himself into their midst. Before long, he has stirred up the crowd against the eviction, and a melee ensues in which police haul away some of the protesters though not Cud, who manages to slip away during the confusion. But as he flees the scene, he comes face-to-face with Jimmy (Paul Sado), a mop-headed artist who is running toward the battle with an empty bottle, which he throws at a police car. The two adrenaline-charged rebels were meant to meet, and they will test each other for the rest of the film.
|Written and directed by: Rich Martin.|
Cast: Scott Wood, Paul Sado, Hogan Gorman, Russell Stewart.
Cinematography: Chris Scollard.
Related links: Official site
From this first scene, you wonder about Cud is he a true believer or just a troublemaker who runs away when he faces real danger? He looks bright and presentable enough to make it in straight society, but he has chosen to lead his own band of homeless kids. He speaks mysteriously of making contact with other anarchist cells, as if this movement is about to take off; but he'll have the chance to sell out and it's not hard to imagine him taking that easy way out.|
This story is both timely and heartfelt. It picks up on the New York housing struggles of the last decade as well as the mystery of the so-called anarchists who suddenly gained national attention during the Seattle trade protests. In some ways, it seems to only scratch the surface of its characters and of the complicated issues of homelessness, gentrification, and alienation, but it is an earnest effort to tell the story of a subculture below the surface of our city.
|JANUARY 8, 2001|
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Help from Debbie, Jul 13, 2005
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