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Hot Docs 2019 Review: Push

Particularly for Toronto viewers interested in the future of cities, Push is required viewing.

Housing access is the defining issue impacting Toronto’s livability and the movement to refocus housing as a human right is growing in Toronto and many other cities facing similar crises. Push is the story of how we got to this point, where housing prices have transformed communities and left a growing number of people on the margins.

Explored through the work of Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Push tackles the complex issue of housing, and the related topics of finance and public policy, with refreshing accessibility. Director Fredrik Gertten wisely narrows the scope of the film to include several on-location case studies (Toronto’s grim housing market plays a meaningful role) that perfectly illustrate the magnitude of the problem and the political and social will required to develop solutions.

To Gertten and Farha’s credit, even if they don’t have all the answers, Push is unafraid to call out uncomfortable truths around urban issues, including how systemic racism plays out in this new, grim modern context.

Dani Saad

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. Unless you're Harry Potter in which case you'll lose... everything.