One of the most significant urban re-development programs ever undertaken in Australia is transforming Sydney’s inner west neighbourhoods. The plan, under the mast head, City West aims to draw residents and jobs back to the inner city.
Pyrmont, a neglected traditionally working class wharfside suburb is one of the first to be impacted.
In retaliation locals declare the Republic of Pyrmont, create a community alternative plan and promote the ‘Pyrmont Pieces’ project, a map of the suburbs historical and significant features.
CONCRETE CITY is a celebration of the beauty of Pyrmont, a tribute to its community and a lament for what’s already been lost.
This gentle film about a small, ragtag inner Sydney community put to the jack-hammer, will leave you seething. Unavoidably partisan (although in a cool kind of way) it also lets all the actors have their say. My favourite sequence is a frail old woman at one of these meetings, brandishing a classic forties Realist painting of her house and street and trying to argue against their demolition, but being overridden by the chairman and his PA. In utter desperation she eventually cries out: “but this is where I fucking live!” Then the cops arrive and take up positions around her. But the locals are nice and reasonable. Too much so. On the grander scale, the students of France have recently shown the efficacy of a ruder, more campaigning approach.
Hall Greenland, Filmnews June 1994
1994 CONCRETE CITY 52 min Broadcast on SBS TV Aug ‘94