Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
During the post-war period, there was a move on the part of architects and social planners to build huge, monolithic public housing projects -- endless blocks of ugly apartment buildings or huge skyscrapers, used only to house the poor. These constructions were a blight on the lives of their inhabitants, and on the civic lives of the cities in which they were located. At best they fostered despair, and at their worst they often served as breeding grounds for serious criminal activity. By the '90s, virtually all of them had been destroyed in the U.S. and Western Europe. This 1977 West German documentary/docudrama chronicles the conditions at one such apartment block, the Maerkisches Viertel, in West Berlin.