Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tower Depresssing

After coming home tonight from another shopping trip of house stuff (how much more stuff we can get in here?), C & I found a documentary called "The Tower, a Tale of Two Cities" on BBC1. This is based on an ex-council high rise tower, situated right on the river overlooking Canary Wharf, bought off Lewisham Council and has been refurbished and is now being flogged off as luxury apartments to wealthy city types. The whole idea of selling these apartements off is part of Lewisham Council's hope to regenerate the area, by brining in wealty people, which I guess means to just force poor people out. The documentary shows the juxtaposition of this brand "new" tower to it's sister tower, still a council estate, and still full of poor tenants, and the juxtaposition of these people's lives. Where one group argue about where to put their high def TVs, the other group battle with losing their businesses, dead beat fathers of their children, poverty and drug abuse. Showing these two completely different worlds, one ultra rich, and one ultra poor, living right next to each other, in identical towers, albeit for a splash of paint, is amazing, but also incredibly harrowing and depressing. It is especially interesting to me because the ex-flatmate and I used to live about 1 mile from these two apartments, and we watched them rip the guts out of the old council block, and refurbish it. So whilst there is an element of watching all these poor people's lives as they are being forced out of the area, and watching all the rich people as they come in, total naive of the area they are about to become a part of, I have to confess there is also an element of "oh look that's the pub across the road from the Asian supermarket" and "I wonder if you can see us speeding past in our car, doors locked, windows up so we don't get robbed?".

Tenants from the sister tower

The 'new' tower.

If you want to watch it, check it out on BBC1 at 11pm. I can't stress how good this documentary is. Well, by good I mean 'interesting, saddening, non life reaffirming'...

Afterwards though, I was so fucking depressed, that I honestly couldn't sleep, so to perk myself up, I had to watch some light, no brain content fluff, with lots of pretty people being upset about stupid things, rather than anything really life threatening like say, making sure that their daughters don't get raped on their way to school. Naturally that meant digging out an episode of "Sex and The City". Of course, being me, that completely back fired because in my attempt to make myself feel better, I ended up watching the episode where Samantha gets breast cancer. Just fucking great.

No comments: