Squatters: The Other Philadelphia
Squatters tells the stories of
poor people in Philadelphia who illegally inhabit and renovate abandoned
houses, ultimately gaining legal ownership. The film centers on Gloria
Gilles, a young, black, single mother of three. Her quest for decent housing
transforms her from a shy, passive victim of municipal bureaucracy to
an effective political activist. She participates in a national squatters'
tent city in Washington and testifies on Capitol Hill. Through organization
and persistence, the urban housing activists catalyze a federal program
to help people acquire and renovate abandoned houses. A real estate developer
and city and federal officials also voice their opinions. Squatters
forcefully testifies to the power of grassroots action.