Rent Free

Alexandra Delgado
Emely Gramajo
Ingrid Hernandez
Perla Hernandez
Delilah Martinez
Mariana Moreno
Our film, “Rent Free” is about the experiences of physical and emotional displacement in South LA. The film is inspired by Frances E. W. Harper’s portrayal of hardships Black characters in the novel faced in creating a home, even in the process of simply renting one. When Robert and his mother, for example, faced housing discimination when they relocated to the North after the Civil War.  Our film connects this to the impact of gentrification on our neighborhood. As rents were raised, the pressure of economic hardship increased on our lives. Our film blends autobiographical testimonies, movement and animation to tell this story.  Hoping to challenge the glamorous perception of LA that draws people to move here, we wanted our viewers to open their eyes to actual issues that come with gentrification.  We want our audience to question why people like ourselves are being pushed out of our homes and feel the frustration and confusion that comes with it.
Rent Free would like to thank Alma Hernandez,  Minerva Martinez and Amely Gramajo

The soundtrack of this film samples California Love by 2Pac, El Chico Del Apartamento 512 by Selena Quintanilla and various field recordings around South LA.

“He soon came across one which just suited his taste, but when the agent discovered that Robert’s mother was colored, he told him that the house had been previously engaged. In company with his mother he looked at several other houses in the desirable neighborhoods, but they were constantly met with the answer, ‘The house is engaged,’ or, ‘We do not rent to colored people.’”