Los Sures (The Southerners) (1984): Poignant Docu of Brooklyn Hispanic Neighborhood

Los Sures (The Southerners), Diego Echeverria’s new documentary, centers on the inhabitants of South Williamsburg, the poor Hispanic neighborhood in Brooklyn.

This interesting non-fiction. which world premiered at the 1984 New York Film Fest, explores daily lives¬†through a thorough examination of five “typical” (or representative) inhabitants .

Though poignant, the docu is subjective, as it is largely based on interviews of its five intriguing subjects.  They are a young man who steals cars, a mother of five living on welfare, a middle-aged woman who believes in spiritualism, a middle-aged laborer, and a young woman who years after welfare rolls, went back to college and put her life on track with a steady job with a social agency.

The subculture of the neighborhood is partly defined by paintings on sidewalks and walls of those who have died violently.

Director Diego Echeverria offers a record of the status quo of the present, but there is less of an effort to understand the past and explain the forces responsible for it.