“Long Term Parking“, a truly touching short New York Times Op Doc by filmmaker Lance Oppenheim that tells the story of several residents at the improvised RV community of airline employees situated in the long term parking lot at LAX. Due to the transient nature of their chosen profession, many of the residents are divorced or otherwise live alone – a freedom that each person interviewed seemed to treasure and dread at the same time. The residents also separately indicated that their living situation is only temporary, particularly since the airport is trying to remove the community from where it stands currently.
Their perspectives are rooted in their community’s complicated history. The lot was created at least a decade ago as an airport-sponsored program offering airline employees a place to rest before heading to their next destination. Today, however, the next destination for many of the lot’s residents is unknown. As a result of pursuing their dream of working in the aviation industry, with its attendant transient lifestyle, many of the parking lot’s residents are estranged from their families. They are largely a community of people living alone, together — and most now consider the lot “home.” But airport officials do not necessarily share their enthusiasm. Instead, they are actively seeking ways to re-appropriate the space where the community is situated and have slowly, and steadily, reduced the number of its residents.