AFTER SKID ROW
They call her Gangster Granni. Filmmaker Lindsey Hagen finds Barbie Carter at a turning point; two weeks after she gets her keys to a proper apartment and ten years of living on Skid Row. Granni dons cowboy boots and denim jeans, bespangled in Western-inspired jewelry and a flair-enhanced hat. She is a character. Through her intimate narration, we learn how her childhood continues to inform her existence. But the everpresent trauma of her life on Skid Row punches you in the gut. Granni keeps all of her possessions next to her mattress, explaining they remain there in case of an emergency. It is an undeniably eye-opening statement.
Despite all she has endured, the genuine joy emanating from Granni is an example to all of us. Her positive and loving spirit as she visits the new Skid Row arrivals speaks volumes about her soul, making us acutely aware that she is an exception to the rule. In 20 minutes, the audience begins to understand the complexity of what happens after someone gains public housing. The buck stops there. Granni only has appliances because she receives help from friends and family. This inside look changes the political conversation. AFTER SKID ROW humanizes the experience of homelessness. It is a gift to those of us still navigating our privilege.
For more than a decade, Gangster Granni was among the 5,000-8,000 individuals living homeless in Skid Row. After getting approved for Section 8 housing, she forged a strong bond with a mutual aid worker and together they set to the task of getting her and keeping her in a home.