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69 Ratings

Public Housing

Directed by Frederick Wiseman
United States, 1997


Frederick Wiseman attempted to record all aspects of daily life at the housing development — drug counselors, street life, addiction, unemployment, drug education, guidance counselors, job training programs, tense relationships between residents and police.

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Public Housing Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Awards & Festivals

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

1998 | 2nd place: Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film

National Society of Film Critics Awards

1999 | 2nd place: Best Non-Fiction Film


1998 | Winner: Grand Prix

What are people saying?

  • Coheed 2.5's rating of the film Public Housing

    With such a wide span to its subject, there isn’t complete cohesion of all the aspects even with its length, but all of them in this environment interconnect into each other, showing a community that nobly fights against poverty, drugs and other issues on the housing development, revealing a rich living environment to the viewer as well as revealing how much Wiseman is a visual painter as well as a documentalist.

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Public Housing

    One of the failures of U.S. bureaucratic governmental programs is that they remove the individuality of people targeted for aid, creating a system of spread sheets, departmental mandates, quotas and pie charts systematically turning flesh and blood into data. Frederick Wiseman reverses the process, focusing on complex human lives to expose a more exact tragedy: institutionalized degradation as racism's endgame.