San Francisco 2.0



IMDb Rating 6.9 10 372

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July 30, 2021 at 04:19 PM


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368.91 MB
English 2.0
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12 hr 40 min
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757.42 MB
English 5.1
29.97 fps
12 hr 40 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Prismark10 6 / 10

Some Franciscans

I thought this documentary started off really badly and only improved when former Labour Secretary Robert Reich made an appearance.

Reich makes it clear that gentrification affects many cities around the world be it New York, Vancouver or London and no one is sure as to how to deal with the disparity between the ever increasing wealth gap.

I have had the benefit of visiting San Francisco several times, I am well aware that people who work in the city live elsewhere be it Oakland or Mill Valley or some other nearby town. San Francisco is an expensive place to live in despite its hipster or bohemian or counterculture reputation.

San Francisco has a homelessness problem or what might be termed as panhandlers more because it has active ways in trying to deal wit the problem leading to administrations from other cities 'pushing' the homeless on to them.

I was well aware that in my last visit to the city that tech companies had offices in San Francisco itself, indeed my hotel was not far from Yahoo.

However it is unfair to say that tech hipsters have made the city affordable to live it. It was always an expensive city to live in, the new gold rush has just made it easy for developers to tear down old buildings and put new high rise buildings in its place with expensive swanky apartments.

Maybe San Francisco is affordable to the middle classes who could not buy a property like the former mayor in the city did in 1972, but buying a property in London is vastly expensive that it was in 1972.

At least the documentary made you ask questions which do not have easy answers but it took a while to get there.

Reviewed by StevePulaski 9 / 10

One city, overhauled

The city of San Francisco has long served as the United States' epitome of counterculture and nonconformity. In the 1950's, it birthed the Beat generation of poets and thinkers, while in the 1960's and 1970's, it was a haven for the hippies and anti-war voices, as well as one of the most prominent voices and advocates for same-sex marriage. Even before all of that, it signed a bill that nullified the U.S. government's Prohibition law. In the 2010's, however, San Francisco's latest act to differentiate itself from the rest of the country is its technological renaissance. In the last few years, the city has been home to a plethora of startup tech companies and "business incubators," which are high-rise buildings that serve as shared workspaces for these startup companies to collaborate and get their business, website, or product off the ground.

Since the dawn of the decade, young entrepreneurs from all over the world have flocked to the city as a way to build their brand from the ground up. They've pioneered workstations that make full use of the relaxation concept, where anytime during the day, you can get up from your office chair and go get a massage, play with LEGOs, or simply grab a snack in the same room. This emphasis on comfort and recreation has attracted young people into shaping San Francisco into their oyster.

This, consequently, has left the countercultural customs, and, for that matter, anybody who isn't young, affluent, and privileged with the means and skills to form such a successful path, in a precarious and questionable position in present day San Francisco. In Alexandra Pelosi's short documentary San Francisco 2.0, Pelosi explores the destruction of middle and working class neighborhoods by the city of San Francisco in order to make way for expensive housing and buildings to accommodate this big business, in addition to restaurants, cafes, and businesses that will attract the young and wealthy in this neighborhood.

When the technological renaissance really began to take hold on people, San Fran Mayor Ed Lee offered tax breaks to companies in an area called "the Tenderloin," a crime-ridden, industrial area, which attracted many of these young people currently frolicking to the city. With that, the area was built up, and thereby gentrified, with 1,400 square feet apartments going for $10,000 a month. This has resulted in massive rich/poor segregation, says the famed economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who almost always is the smartest person in any room. Reich comments how you've seen Vancouver, London, and other cities essentially become "gated communities" or playgrounds for the young and wealthy and, as a result, numerous have been singled out, unable to find employment or even housing in an area thriving off of new money.

A neighborhood shopowner and activist comments on San Francisco's new technological progress quite negatively, saying it has ushered in a new generation of antisocial, impersonal young people that have no conception to the culture and history of the city. We see corporations, who are attracted to the crowd because of the wealth of commerce and money they bring to the city, carelessly tear down murals and locational landmarks in favor of these antiseptic offices that feed the internet craze.

Then there's the element of the mass-evictions San Fran has been undergoing in recent years. Thanks to legislature and these construction operations, numerous people have been victim to "no- fault evictions," which basically mean they are being evicted because they do not fit in with the city's current plan to rebrand and recreate the area. We see a man in his early sixties, who went from being a wealthy banker boasting two college degrees and over thirty years experience, to somebody living in a cramped studio apartment, tirelessly searching for work to no avail, and eating at a soup kitchen in the evenings. It's a tragic circumstance that, sadly, has seen numerous people displaced from their homes and their jobs.

Pelosi, daughter of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, shows how the root of this problem is very simple; blinded by the technology craze and the countless possibilities, some even yet to be discovered, that social media websites and Silicon companies offer that they've created a city that doesn't cater to anybody other than the young and the wealthy. We hear from ex-mayors of San Francisco that in order for this problem to reverse, or at least go in an alternate direction, the gifted and intelligent people behind the doors of these lavish offices will need to look beyond those walls and see how they can help all people and not solely themselves and their companies (that is largely how the previous generations got us into the mess we're currently in). They will need to go from defying ritually accepted taxi and hotel regulations with companies like Uber and AirBnB, respectively, to find a way to be conscious of others in the area.

Pelosi's short documentary is a great film for those who thought the city of San Francisco was nothing more than coffee shops and unabashed sin; it's a city that could very well set a dangerous precedent for other big cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles if people don't realize what is currently unfolding. It's such a fascinating documentary, albeit burdened by a narration that's a bit too pedestrian and cheeky for a subject like this, that one wishes it could've added another forty minutes to its runtime to fully explore the issue and allow other voices to speak.

As it stands, however, it's a briskly edited and knowledge-packed wake-up call to realize what is going on in San Francisco and to try and do something about it.

NOTE: San Francisco 2.0 will air throughout the remainder of September and the entire month of October on HBO.

Directed by: Alexandra Pelosi.

Reviewed by AlsExGal 8 / 10

What hath the cell phone and the internet wrought? ...

...Well, for one, great convenience, for another, businesses that actually have no physical location. This is a short documentary about the tech revolution and how it affected one city - San Francisco.

Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi, directed, wrote, and provided any narration needed for this documentary. She did a great job, partially aided by the fact that this is her hometown, born there in 1970, so she gets the context of the entire situation. The trick is, she communicates that context very well.

She goes into the history of San Francisco a bit - how it has long been a haven for the unconventional and progressive, even passing a law against prohibition during prohibition. Then came the tech revolution, starting actually in the late 70's in Silicon Valley. But the young turk techies working in the valley did not want to live there. They wanted to live in hip San Francisco. So high tech companies, wanting to retain their talent, sent buses to pick up their employees in San Francisco and ship them down to the valley every day. As Alexandra says, it didn't take long for those governing San Francisco to see that they might make revenue off of this by offering breaks to Silicon Valley companies that moved into San Francisco. No more long commute for the employees, breaks for the companies, revenue for the city, who could lose? Well it turns out that the great changes have caused the city to risk losing what made it so special.

More companies came to San Francisco than was originally dreamed of. With them came an army of invading techie hipsters that drove the price of everything up and drove long existing businesses out. One 20 something man said that, based on the fact that everything interesting happening in the tech world seemed to be happening in San Francisco, he bought a one way plane ticket to San Francisco to find a career there. Another young man had founded Bebo, sold it to AOL for 850 million dollars. When it failed he bought it back for one million to try and make a go of it. That's one thing you see over and over. Freshly minted millionaires whose companies and accomplishments you probably have never heard of.

One techie described San Francisco this way - in parts there are no children, no old, just techies sitting around building apps that try to improve everyday experiences such as ordering pizza. Then Pelosi moves on to the displaced residents. One drove Pelosi through a neighborhood once full of children playing in the streets. Now the houses are owned by techie millionaires - nobody else can afford them. Evictions are at an all time high, not because of non payment of rent, but because the rich want to buy the property owner out, tear down the building and either put up housing for the wealthy or a complex for the tech workers.

Next Pelosi brings up the problem of regulating companies that have no physical presence - Lyft, Uber, AirBnB - all who have no real employees. People just provide services through them when they can. As a result the pseudoemployees have no job security at all because they have no jobs. The companies they serve are completely unregulated because of their lack of a brick and mortar presence and address. This puts regular hotels who are regulated at a complete disadvantage. Economist Robert Reich joins the conversation towards the end and says that what is happening in San Francisco is a microcosm of what is happening in cities around the world. That as the rich become geographically divorced from the poor and middle class, added to their great political influence, that this cannot end well.

Finally, a guy named Alan mentioned in the documentary , representative of the older displaced worker with no training in tech, haunts my thoughts. Working in the finance sector for thirty years until the crash of 2008, unable to find any job since, he ran through his unemployment, then his savings, then finally his 401K. 61 at the time this film was made, he is now penniless, living in a bleak room in an SRO, and avoids this depressing place during the day, only returning at night. I wonder what ever happened to him. As he said to Pelosi "I no longer live in your world. What is normal for you is no longer normal for me".

Here Ms. Pelosi followed the first rule of making a good documentary - talk about what you know. Highly recommended.

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