Footage for the documentary "Voices of Cabrini." Shot between 1995-1999, it documented the Cabrini Green redevelopment project proposed and carried out by the city of Chicago. In this video, the Pratt family spends time at a playground. There is also an interview with Mark Pratt and his cousin, Dante.
00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.
00:33Copy video clip URL Mark Pratt’s children in a playground. Pratt photographs his daughter in a painted concrete tube. The children race each other.
3:56Copy video clip URL Cut to Director Ronit Bezalel approaching Pratt on the playground. She asks him: “What’s the difference between that building, the Palace [in Cabrini], and that skyscraper?” Pratt: “One’s red, one’s white! Just kidding. Economics, ethnicity of the people who live in it–one group is considered a minority group, one group is considered a majority.”
4:49Copy video clip URL Bezalel: “What does it mean to live in that building?” Pratt: “Sandburg Village, as we like to call it, is the Cabrini of the Gold Coast. You walk over there–same layout, lots of concrete, lots of space within the complex, little play areas for the kids, because it’s not built for children–it’s the same as Cabrini…” Pratt talks about the lack of work and the poor education level.
6:07Copy video clip URL Bezalel: “What is so bad [about Cabrini]?” Pratt: “People are desperate…and not caring is a learned behavior…” Pratt talks about the dangers of poor parenting and attitude. He continues to describe the “family infrastructure” that disappeared with the 1970s economic recession, and the various forms of escapism that comforted people after the fact, like drugs and alcohol.
8:41Copy video clip URL Bezalel asks him what it feels like to see one of the richest areas of Chicago while standing in one of Chicago’s poorest areas. Pratt: “It’s cool!” Pratt describes growing up and being able to access the beach, downtown, and Lincoln Park, and notes Cabrini’s location is one of the most valuable in the city. He talks about being an outsider and finding the good in poor conditions.
13:29Copy video clip URL Camera pans to Pratt’s children in the playground.
15:30Copy video clip URL “No one can convince me it’s better outside this place, unless they’re offering me a home.” Pratt talks about his interest in film: “Film gives me the flexibility to tell stories and film gives me the flexibility to help others tell stories.”
20:35Copy video clip URL Pratt talks about whether he would come back to Cabrini if he become a successful filmmaker. He is adamant that Cabrini will not exist in future, as it will have been converted into new property.
23:47Copy video clip URL Antonio Ferrera asks Pratt what about Cabrini Pratt carries with himself everywhere. Pratt: “It’s something you can’t put in words. Like now and with everyone that walks past, I know, this is home. My family, and not just my immediate family, I don’t know how to put it in words, it’s just nice to be known and loved.”
25:15Copy video clip URL Pratt gives the crew a tour of some of his favorite places, but first he rounds up his children. They leave the playground.
27:29Copy video clip URL Cut to Pratt walks around a chain-linked fence. The fence surrounds an empty swimming pool and a group of people are playing baseball. One young man shouts into the camera. Cameraman changes places. The Hancock Building and skyline can be seen in the background over the lot.
29:28Copy video clip URL Cut to another shot of the baseball game. This time, a parking lot filled with police cars is in the background. Video is taken from between an opening in the fence.
30:16Copy video clip URL Cut to Pratt and his baby in an apartment complex. Dante, Mark’s cousin, walk next to them out to Durso Park. He explains: “This is the infamous GP…Gangsta Park.” Pratt explains how individual parks/territories correspond to particular housing complexes. This area is called the “Wild End.” They explain that Stanley Park is a neutral zone.
34:07Copy video clip URL Cameraman asks them about the closing of the Palace. Dante: “Most people don’t care…The Castle was a legendary building…lots of gang history…” Dante goes into detail about his last five years in prison and the sense of comfort he feels at Cabrini. Dante lives in Rogers Park, but comes down to Cabrini every day.
37:41Copy video clip URL Dante talks about the history of the Castle and how the building went from Black Gangster Disciples to Cobras to Vice Lords…”you don’t try to know it, but you know it.”
38:26Copy video clip URL Dante: “I have a lot of memories here at Cabrini Green–I got memories of being shot, gang banging, a lot of stuff…till they knock this all down I’ll be over here.” He describes how, after getting shot, he moved to Rogers Park. He also describes the difference between himself and Mark–namely, Mark has more life experience and Mark takes more responsibility than Dante.
41:48Copy video clip URL Dante: “Well, I have three kids. I just want to see my children prosper. I don’t want to see them go through any of the same stuff I did. I want to work a decent job. I want to live the American dream.”
45:16Copy video clip URL Ferrera: “What’s something you hear people not from Cabrini saying about Cabrini?” Dante: “That they scared to come over here…you goin’ to go through a lot things you don’t want to experience in the projects, but, unfortunately, it happened like that…when it’s war time it’s war time, but when it’s not it’s like this every day–peaceful… It ain’t nothin’ different from my neighborhood than it is from anybody else’s neighborhood, except we stay in a project.”
47:01Copy video clip URL They walk away from the park. Pratt talks about how small and close knit the community is.
50:00Copy video clip URL Cut to Dante resting on a chain-linked fence. Bezalel asks him why they’re tearing down Cabrini buildings, and who the demolition is going to benefit. Dante: “It’s not gonna benefit us, no way. Because…all they’re going to do to us is send us to the suburbs…” He notes that most people are living in denial about their futures in Cabrini. Bezalel responds by saying that part of their documentary project is to show others what Cabrini is and to educate residents. Dante talks about media distortion and police corruption.
53:58Copy video clip URL Cut to Dante in front of a chain link fence. Behind him is a large concrete basketball court and in the background above the skyline. Dante’s interview ends and he walks into the basketball court.
54:30Copy video clip URL Cut to the basketball court. Several young boys are trying to get the camera’s attention. They walk away and the camera records a basketball game. Cut to a young Pratt trying to throw a basketball over the fence. Several more shots of a basketball game and a close up of one of Pratt’s youngest sons.
59:46Copy video clip URL Cut to inside Pratt’s apartment. The children are eating and watching in the living room.
59:53Copy video clip URL Cut to Pratt in the kitchen pouring juice.
1:00:44Copy video clip URL Static.
1:00:48Copy video clip URL End of tape.