In the 1970s, the Bronx was on fire. Left unprotected by the city government, nearly a
half-million people were displaced as their close-knit, multiethnic neighborhood
burned, reducing the community to rubble. While insidious government policies
caused the devastation, Black and Latino residents bore the blame.
Through a rich seam of archival and home movie footage, testimonials from retired
FDNY firefighters and brass, as well as Bronx historians and community organizations Banana Kelly and CASA, the documentary Decade of Fire, co-directed by Bronx native Vivian Vázquez Irizarry and Gretchen Hildebran, confronts the racially charged stereotypes that dehumanized residents of the South Bronx in the 1970’s, and rationalized their abandonment by city, state and federal governments. Vázquez Irizarry, in her role as the film’s central character seeks not only healing for her community, but to redeem them from the harmful mythology spread by the media that has continued largely unchallenged to this day.
Decade of Fire offers the emergence of a new narrative for the South Bronx and places like it across the nation.
Read more about the film here.