To left of the screen, women in dresses stand in the street of New York City in 1967. To the right, women in tank tops and jeans stand on the same street in 1998.
From an apartment building, the 1967 Lauryn Hill looks out, wearing a halter top. The 1998 Hill leans her arm on the bars, which have been installed onto the window.
On the corner, the men from 1967 wear suits, listening to music in the center while a couple to the right in 1998, cuddle together. The man from 1967 turns the radio towards the center. Both generations of little boys run to the fence.
In 1967, the block party was only beginning and in its 3rd year. By 1998, it has gone for 33 years and it has become a neighborhood tradition. The 1967 Hill performs in a zebra print dress with male background singers, Hill, in 1998, wears a denim jacket and her hair in braids. Male dancers perform behind her and she has female background singers to accompany her.
A woman in a headband walks closer in 1967 while an interracial couple kisses in 1998. In 1967, a male adjusts his hat. In the same apartment, a young woman looks out the apartment. In 1967, a male and female couple stand next together while a lesbian couple kiss in 1998.
In both 1967 and 1998, mothers take care of their families. In 1998, though, the mother is likely a single one. A young woman stands by a navy blue painted building with several children. In 1998, a mural has been painted on the building and a little boy jumps on a wheel planted in the middle of the street.
1967, two young men press their hands against the window of a store. In 1998, little kids bang the glass, asking for the toys inside.
In 1967 and 1998, young men get their hair cut at the barbershop and two men use technology to film the event. The crowds continue to dance to Hill’s music in both timelines.
In 30 years, society has changed. In 1967, the women stayed in background while the men were front and center. Clothing was conservative for both genders, though. It was men who owned the apartments. Love was acceptable between a man and a woman. Homosexuality was a taboo. Mothers stayed home to take care of the children, despite being miserable in the marriage.
By 1998, women are wearing casual clothing and have become present in society. They can leave marriages without being stigmatized. They are often the breadwinners, taking care of their families. Couples are open about their affection for one another and their sexuality.
Technology has been reinvented and improved. Televisions have gotten bigger and have more channels. Video cameras, on the other hand, got smaller.
The neighborhood has changed a bit. Bars have been added to the windows of the apartment buildings for security. A mural was painted to honor the children lost to violence. Stores have changed from selling pastries to toys. However, the barbershop has become a mainstay.
The block party, though, binds the generations together. Families through the years can attend, meeting up with old neighbor, enjoy the barbecued food and listen to the young woman singing at the event.People are most likely to talk with their neighbors for the first time and hang out, listening to the entertainment provided. In 1967, Hill would be a novelty, a local talent given a chance. But in 1998, Hill would have some support and a following, letting little girls know that they deserve to be heard.
Director: Big TV! Year: 1998