A Fascinating Split Screen Perspective of the Same Los Angeles Streets 70 Years Apart

In the wonderful New Yorker short film entitled “Seventy Years of Los Angeles, Then and Now“, director Kevin McAlester used a split screen effect to document the same Bunker Hill streets, juxtaposing footage from 1946 with that from current times .

In the early part of the twentieth century, the neighborhood had been home to some of the city’s most elegant mansions and hotels; by the nineteen-fifties, these had mostly been subdivided into low-income housing, and the area was populated by a mix of pensioners, immigrants, workers, and people looking to get lost—a period memorialized in several noir films and the realist gem “The Exiles.” The Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project was adopted in 1959 and somehow lasted an astonishing fifty-three years. The result, and what it means, are the subject of this short film by Keven McAlester, which compares what the same streets in downtown Los Angeles looked like in the nineteen-forties and today.