From: ITVS
Published: Wed Jun 01 2005

(San Francisco) Narrated by Cheech Marin and scored by Ry Cooder and Lalo Guerrero, Jordan Mechner's half-hour documentary tells the bittersweet story of how a small Mexican American community was destroyed by greed, political hypocrisy, and good intentions gone astray. Presented by ITVS, CHAVEZ RAVINE: A Los Angeles Story will air nationally on the Emmy Award Winning, PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Susan Sarandon, on Tuesday, June 7 at 10 P.M. (check local listings).

In 1949, photographer Don Normark stumbled on Chavez Ravine, a closely knit Mexican American village on a hill overlooking downtown Los Angeles. Enchanted, he stayed for a year and took hundreds of photographs, never knowing he was capturing on film the last images of a place that was about to disappear.

The following year, the city of Los Angeles evicted the 300 families of Chavez Ravine to make way for a low-income public housing project. The land was cleared and homes, schools and the church were leveled. But instead of building the promised housing, the city sold the land to baseball owner Walter O'Malley, who built Dodger Stadium on the site. Fifty years later, filmmaker Jordan Mechner explores what happened, interviewing many of the one-time residents of Chavez Ravine as well as some of the officials who oversaw the destruction of the community. Told through Ry Cooder's score, archival news footage and Normark's haunting black-and-white photographs, CHAVEZ RAVINE reclaims and celebrates a lost village from a simpler time.

Nonesuch/Perro Verde will release Ry Cooder's companion CD entitled Chavez Ravine on June 7, 2005, in conjunction with the national broadcast. The CHAVEZ RAVINE interactive companion website (www.pbs.org/chavezravine) features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmakers, participant and crew bios as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a "Talkback" section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.

Company: ITVS
Contact Name: Mary Lugo
Contact Email: lugo@negia.net
Contact Phone: 770/623-8190

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