Harlem USA is a film directed by Eric Schachter that documents and explores the rich history and dying culture of Harlem, New York. According to Shadow and Act, the film was first debuted nearly one year ago in front of test audiences London, Montreal and Atlanta. Schachter said the film was made with the intention of giving the residents “a voice and to let the world know just how it is between 110th St and 155th Street from the East Side to the West Side.”
After Schachter received feedback from his test audiences that his film didn’t offer a voice to Harlem’s wealthy newcomers who feel that the city offers promise, he realized that they were missing the point of the documentary. He went on to say that the goal was to offer “the quintessential knowledge that comes from being black in this little island in America.”
Going back to the drawing board, Schachter re-edited the documentary to simply reflect “a love for a way of life lost, a time to be recorded and remembered and an immense respect for the collective wisdom of a people who had once had a homeland and a culture to call their own, smack in the middle of the biggest and richest city in America”.
After some revamping, Schatchter is content that Harlem USA “pleases and speaks faithfully for the people in it and tends to offend those who need to believe that everything is always getting better”.
Harlem USA is slated to make it’s official world premiere Sunday, May 12th in Brooklyn, New York at the Cobble Hill Theater.
Turn the page to check out the trailer. Does it look like this film will do an effective job of reflecting the current state of Harlem?