Home is a HotelDirected by Kar Yin Tham, Kevin Duncan Wong, Todd Sills
Audience Award for Documentary Feature, 2023 San Francisco International Film Festival
SRO (single-room occupancy) hotels – if you’ve ever spent time in big city downtowns, you’ve probably stood in front of one. The least expensive form of non-subsidized affordable housing in the US, SRO units are cramped, with residents sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities.
HOME IS A HOTEL gives us a window into the lives of some of the memorable inhabitants in San Francisco SROs: Sylvester, an artist painting murals at tech offices despite being priced out of his neighborhood by those same companies; Jacque, who regrets handing her daughter over to someone else’s care when she was young and is now searching for her in the face of police indifference; Sunbear and Amy, a former couple in recovery committed to raising their son together; Esther, a librettist harassed by a landlord taking advantage of her blindness; and Christina, a single mother who left an abusive marriage and is supporting her aging parents.
Based on a short of the same name by Kevin Duncan Wong, he and fellow Bay Area-based filmmakers Todd Sills and Kar Yin Tham began documenting these residents’ daily lives in 2016. Through the years, we see tensions arising from living in such tight quarters, gentrification, bureaucratic nightmares, systemic neglect and abuse, and of course, COVID. We also see hope and healing as they persist in looking for a way out.
– Wilda Wong
Co-presented by YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County.