Filmmaker | Educator | Consultant
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The Area

Producer, Director

THE AREA (2018, 105 min)

Consulting Producer

★★★★  “An eye-opening saga of resistance” - Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

“This searing documentary unfolds the process of a nefarious land grab for a more than century-settled swath of Chicago's South Side Englewood neighborhood. Over a five-year period, the Norfolk Southern Railway methodically turns 85 acres of homes into eerily empty prairie land in the name of economic revitalization. Aided by the city council and a host of business interests, the railroad proceeds with a plan to expand its intermodal freight terminal into the heart of an area whose residents have few resources to resist when pressured with cash and threats of eminent domain. With a sensitive eye for the raw beauties of the urban landscape, director Schalliol follows a story that becomes powerfully emotional when the last holdouts, led by 30-year resident Deborah Payne, fight for their rights, while the homes of their neighbors fall one after another to the bulldozers.” - Gene Siskel Film Center

“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

"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

"It sounds like the premise of a movie from the 1930s ... beautiful and haunting at the same time." ★★★ - Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“…a sturdy hallucination in urban geo-location and physical and psychic dislocation." - Ray Pride, New City

"…an urgent and compelling documentary about a dimension of city that's rarely seen on the big screen.” - Harrison Sherrod, Cinefile

Celebrating  The Area  World Premiere at the  2018 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  in Durham, NC

Celebrating The Area World Premiere at the 2018 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC