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Running time:

82 minutes


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French with English subtitles

Montreal, summer 2001: During the city's acute housing crisis, young militants and people with poor lodgings or none at all barricaded and occupied a vacant building. Claiming the right to housing and the desire to live alternatively, they formed a politicized squat. Under the voraciously watchful eye of the media, these 50 squatters tried to develop a well-organized residence. A social order developed, with meetings and work schedules that included painting and repairs. Initially endorsed by Montreal City Hall, the squat garnered sensational media coverage that led to public outcry and forceful police reaction. Squat! provides an inside look at the controversy surrounding the squat, the reality of the homeless, and their efforts to improve their living circumstances.

"****Four stars. In the tradition of cinéma vérité, Lamont leaves no stone unturned, from the squatters' infighting to the media circus lying in wait to distort their every misstep. As building inspectors, fire marshals and riot police rally against them, the squatters continue to fight for decent shelter and survival... Squat! presents an honest view of the economically disadvantaged and celebrates the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity."
      - Chart Attack

Award(s): Best Direction Award, Hot Docs 2003

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