Sara Terry takes on a David and Goliath story in “A Decent Home,” a doc exploring the battle between mobile home owners and profit-hungry private equity firms. “Even though I own my home and paid for my home, unfortunately, I’m on someone else’s land,” a resident explains in a new trailer for the DOC NYC title. One park owner reveals that he would earn anywhere from $100 to 300 million upon shutting down, rezoning, and selling his park, displacing its low-income residents as a result. As its official synopsis describes, the film asks, “When are the rich rich enough?”
“A Decent Home” sees Terry traveling across the country to parks in Colorado, California, New Hampshire, and Iowa to examine issues of class and economic mobility through the accounts of mobile home residents, who are struggling to make ends meet, facing eviction upon the possible closure of their parks, and organizing to defend their rightful ownership of their homes.
On the margins of the turf battle between real estate tycoons are the forgotten, real-life families who must suffer the collateral damage of greed. And the price they pay is the roof over their heads. “A mobile home is not a second-class house, a mobile home is my home,” one homeowner emphasizes.
“I think the wealth gap — and the unbelievable inequity created by that concentration of so much wealth in the hands of a few — is the biggest problem we have in the world today,” Terry told us. “That kind of imbalance, and greed, is what’s behind every challenge we face — from climate change to systemic racism. Start there if you want to fix everything else.”
“We need to question who on earth are we becoming as Americans when housing that is on the very lowest rung of the American Dream is being bought up by the wealthiest of the wealthy seeking to make outrageous returns on their investments,” Terry reflected in a statement. “Whose dream are we serving?”
“A Decent Home” follows “Folk,” Terry’s 2013 doc following three singer-songwriters navigating the contemporary folk music scene. Her directorial debut, 2011’s “Fambul Tok,” tells the story of a grassroots forgiveness program in Sierra Leone.
“A Decent Home” will be available on VOD October 25.