Spanish Lake
Directed by Phillip Andrew Morton

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Lots of Morton's subjects point out that the problem is less racial than it is economic. It's the concentration of impoverished citizens – and too-few parents -- in a town without enough jobs and services. Still, the doc would be improved by more black voices. The ones Morton includes are heartening. Today, community-minded residents are pushing back against crime, and several recent development projects are promising. (The Scientologists are, if nothing else, okay neighbors.) The film closes with an especially affecting encounter: Morton returns to his childhood home to meet the African-American woman who currently lives there. After all the there-goes-the-neighborhood talk from Morton's white interviewees, this is a relief – she's done wonders with the place. Spanish Lake is a heartbreaker, but it's got hope in it.

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