The Fall of the I-HotelDirected by Curtis Choy
New 2K restoration by the Manilatown Heritage Foundation
On one summer night in August 1977, three hundred police officers brutally evicted the elderly Filipino and Chinese residents of San Francisco’s International Hotel. Through newsreel footage and intimate interviews with community members, THE FALL OF THE I-HOTEL documents the beautiful yet heartbreaking history of Filipino manongs in San Francisco, the fight to defend Manilatown, and the unfortunate destruction of this Filipino community.
Located along Kearny St, Manilatown was a thriving neighborhood of Filipino working class immigrants that included affordable housing, small businesses, and community centers. When San Francisco began its urban renewal project in the 1960s, Manilatown was targeted for demolition. During a time of revolutionary struggles across the US, the displacement of the Filipino community sparked a decade-long resistance movement that brought different groups together in solidarity to protect the elders and fight against cultural erasure.
This new restoration is a must-see for young and old generations alike to witness the silenced history and resilience of the Filipino American community. Director Curtis Choy portrays the emotional battle while highlighting the intersections between issues of immigration, labor, police violence, gentrification, and housing inequality that are still very relevant today. This powerful classic of Asian American cinema is a testimony to the power of collective resistance and the importance of protecting our communities – which we need now more than ever.
– Noelle Sepina