Paul Barnett

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Straight Outta Hunters Point Review


Excellent
Most San Franciscans, like myself, have hardly any reason to spend time cruising through the poor black neighborhood of Hunters Point set on an isolated hill south of the city overlooking San Francisco Bay. For those who live outside San Fran, you'd probably never even know such a roughneck ghetto existed in this fair city of hipsters, tech nerds, bohemians, and Marina yuppies. But through Kevin Epps' often disturbing, sometimes hilarious, and always engaging documentary Straight Outta Hunters Point, you get a streets-eye view of just what this working-class 'hood has been through and where it stands today.

Epps has an unrelenting eye for showing his audience just what HP (Hunters Point, as its more often called throughout Straight) is all about, interweaving video ranging from gang war shooting scenes to sidewalk Bible-thumping revivals to tire-burning car sideshows to bare-chested thugs blingin' for the camera. He even reaches back into HP's painful past; this troubled area almost seemed cursed from its start as a black dock workers' development that sunk into depression after the nearby Navy shipyard closed post-WWII - the same shipyard that was so polluted it would eventually be declared a Superfund site and would cause high levels of illness in the community.

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