S4E16: Loud Murmurs x UrbanCan: “In the Heights” — Glossy Dreams In A Disappearing Community


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In this episode, we talk about film "In the Heights" — a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's 2008 Tony Award-winning musical — with our friends from podcast 城市罐头. We mused on a few galactic questions: What exactly is gentrification? Why should we care, and how do we understand it in a Chinese context? Is commercializing the culture of a community the way to protect it? Why does this film feel lacking in 2021?

  • 02:53 Introduction to the film
  • 07:21 What is gentrification, and why should we pay attention to it?
  • 14:00 Why is gentrification considered as a “foreign” concept to Chinese people?
  • 19:58 Gentrification in the context of Chinese urban development
  • 25:03 For a community struggling with gentrification, is commercializing its culture a feasible solution?
  • 33:05 “Selective blackouts” and environmental racism
  • 38:55 How do you design a good community? Can you?
  • 45:56 Is getting out of the ethnic enclave a symbol of progress?
  • 48:15 The common pitfall of films adapted from musicals
  • 54:50 Casting controversy

Guests:Xiao Wang and Yao, hosts of 城市罐头 — A podcast about consumer culture, city life and urban planning.

Hosts: Diaodiao, Izzy, Ina

Edited by: Valerie Chen

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