SOLD CITY - When housing becomes a commodity

 The new "FILM FROM BELOW" by Leslie Franke and Herdolor Lorenz, 92 minutes

Help make a film that shows how we take the floor out of speculation in housing

The film SOLD CITY is the third part of a trilogy. With the subtitle “Der marktgerechte Mieter” [“Marketable Tenants”] with reference to the films Marketable People and Marketable Patients, chosen by the German TV culture magazine Titel, Thesen, Temperamente as "Best of 2020".

The film SOLD CITY will use the locations Berlin, Paris, Hamburg, Munich, London and Vienna to explore the questions of how people experience the current real estate boom, where the price increases come from and what possibilities and

alternatives there are to resist them. Other films on the subject usually see it as enough to lament about the tenancy crisis. But not SOLD CITY. The film helps viewers understand why property prices and rents have risen so sharply since the financial crisis.

It shows examples, even role models, of how citizens successfully unite against this development. And it concludes that the discourse on fundamental land reform is more urgent than ever.

SOLD CITY begins and ends in Berlin. For it is here that all the points of conflict in the housing market meet, and not just in the city’s rent cap, which is unique in the world. The petition for a referendum "Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen&Co" also confuses investors.

The film takes us from Berlin to Paris, where according to the law, housing construction is still non-profit. This is quite different from London. Here, the free housing market is at its most extreme. But in Hamburg everything seems to be better, with 10,000 new flats every year. Yet the amount of social housing is steadily decreasing here too. And the modernization of low-cost flats by housing companies is closing a circle as it can only end: forced eviction from the trendy neighbourhood.

The film shows alternatives to this depressing summary. First and foremost Vienna, where the basic right to housing has been impressively realised for the majority of citizens. Or self-managed housing inspired by the Mietshäuser Syndikat. But the problem of land prices rising alarmingly is coming to a head everywhere. In German cities, 80% of new construction costs are incurred for the acquisition of building land. In the film, this leads to the final question of whether there is still a serious alternative to fundamental land reform. SOLD CITY, however, is by no means a succession of abstract adages. The fate of human beings always leads us to the cities and to housing problems

© Kernfilm 2021