Push review – a whirlwind tour of rocketing rents and personal tragedy
This powerful documentary, about a UN investigator travelling the planet to get to the bottom of the global housing crisis, lays bare a $217 trillion scandal
‘I don’t believe that capitalism itself is hugely problematic,” says Leilani Farha, as she marches along a pavement in Harlem, New York. The UN’s special rapporteur on adequate housing is on her way to visit a sprawling low-income housing project that was recently acquired by a private equity fund, leading to massive rent hikes and probable evictions. “Is unbridled capitalism in an area that is a human right problematic? Yes.”
The conflict between rights and profits lies at the heart of a thought-provoking documentary, Push, which follows Farha’s forays into the bleak depths of the global housing crisis, as she attempts to unpick exactly how we got here. In the Harlem estate she meets a man who already spends 90% of his income on his rent. Soon, his two-bedroom flat will cost $3,600 (£,2920) a month, and he will be forced to move.