A film by Andrea Luka Zimmerman
2015, 83 minutes
No. 004


When it was built in the 1930’s, the massive Haggerston Estate in East London was the model of public housing and what it could achieve. After decades of neglect, however, the whole area was condemned and with it the utopian dream it promised.

Award-winning filmmaker Andrea Luke Zimmerman, herself a resident for 17 years, chronicles the project’s passing and celebrates its inhabitants in this beautiful, poetic documentary.

Weaving together intimate resident portraits with historical re-enactments (performed by the residents themselves), landscape and architectural studies, and dramatized scenes, the film questions how stereotypes – based on class, gender, disability, even geography – are constructed.

As Zimmmerman notes, “the film is, inevitably therefore, about housing, and about the policies that lead us to live lives at the mercy of governmental and financial decisions. But, much more, I hope, it is about how we belong in the world and what structures of meaning exist to define personal and social lives. How can we express the fullest possibility of our being, creatively and collectively?”

“Three stars. Estate effectively pays tribute to a hardscrabble mini-community – unfairly stereotyped as undesirables – who are being destroyed by time and opportunities for gentrification. Recommended.” - Video Librarian

“Knowing the previous work of its creators, I believe this project will achieve something very significant for the times we are living in. It will remind us - and how appropriate this is for the medium of film - that, both politically and humanly, the past is not behind us, not obsolescent, but beside us and urgent.” - John Berger

“Estate, A Reverie is a deeply moving portrait of a community struggling to survive in a boarded-up London public housing project, long slated for demolition. Multilayered and profound, Andrea Zimmerman’s film masterfully immerses us in a dreamlike lost-world of misfits, outcasts and survivors whom she films with love and aching tenderness.” - Joshua Oppenheimer, Director of The Act of Killing