The “American Dream” has always been at the core of American life and culture. Not just for those born in this country, but for immigrants from every corner of the Earth, too. Work hard, do the right thing, and that white picket fence dream can belong to anyone. But what happens when the “American Dream,” turns out to be just that—a fantasy. What happens when a family is forced out of the only home, and the only neighborhood, that they have ever known?
Gentrification is at the heart of many of these questions. Specifically, it is the reason why many Latinx community members have a different experience with the “American Dream” than members of other communities in Los Angeles. As a short documentary film, Elysium explores the impact of gentrification on Latinx community members on Echo Park. It investigates the erasure and rebuilding of a community and culture in one of Los Angeles’ most historic neighborhoods. Elysium also tells the story of Dodger Stadium, and explores how its dark history of erasure is connected to the transformation of Echo Park today. These stories are told with the goal of inspiring a more equitable Los Angeles.