Estate, a Reverie
A film by Andrea Luka Zimmerman, 83 min, 2015

A spirited celebration of extraordinary everyday humanity.

Heart-rending. - Morgan Quaintance (e-flux)

Knowing the previous work of its creators, I believe this project will achieve something very significant for the times we are living in. It will remind us - and how appropriate this is for the medium of film - that, both politically and humanly, the past is not behind us, not obsolescent, but beside us and urgent. - John Berger

Estate is a deeply moving portrait of a community struggling to survive in a boarded-up London public housing project, long slated for demolition. Multilayered and profound, Andrea Zimmerman’s film masterfully immerses us in a dreamlike lost-world of misfits, outcasts and survivors whom she films with love and aching tenderness. - Joshua Oppenheimer, Director of The Act Of Killing

There is a generosity of spirit at work in the film that captivates from the getgo - less a political polemic more a poetical portrait of times-fast-going. An enthralling and uplifting celebration of the resilience of humanity in flux. - Andrew Kotting

Andrea Zimmerman's extraordinary film, Estate: A Reverie, which documents the last days of a Hackney housing estate, is both profound and original. Having herself lived on the estate for many years, her tender portrait exhibits deep feelings of community and solidarity - sentiments almost entirely missing from our contemporary political vocabulary. She has given Hackney back, at last, some of its wayward heart. - Ken Worpole

Filmed over seven years, Estate, a Reverie reveals and celebrates the resilience of residents who are profoundly overlooked by media representations and wider social responses. Interweaving intimate portraits with the residents' own historical re-enactments, landscape and architectural studies and dramatised scenes, Estate, a Reverie asks how we might resist being framed exclusively through class, gender, ability or disability, and even through geography...

Estate is distributed in Europe by LUX. For details see here here.

For Institutional Purchase or Sale
Estate is available in North America via Grasshopperfilms. For details see here here.

Estate is part of the Arts Council Collection, UK.

Community screenings
Please get in touch with us directly here here.

Filmmaker's statement

As someone who has spent the vast majority of their life living on large public housing estates, both in Munich and then in London, it was incredibly important to me that the film I was making was not about the community it depicts, but made from within it.

The shared living came first. The film followed as an expression of commitment and gratitude to the people with whom I shared 17 years of life. However, it is of course also an interrogation of the political and social forces that lead people / residents to become marginalized and increasingly overlooked and ignored by the wider political and social realm.

Over the concentrated duration of making (seven years), various formal filmmaking strategies were deployed. These included long-term observational documentary, dramatic enactment, role play (both historical and contemporary) and interventions in public space and with a wider public. This hybrid aspect of the film developed not out of a desire to be aesthetically “avant-garde” but rather because the various devices were simply the most productive in terms of conveying both the layered aspects of the site, historically, architecturally and socially, and also the similarly textured identities the residents found themselves living within, in terms of how they were viewed by peers, social agencies, and the neighbouring public.

The film sought to counter the many myths and clichés of tehir (and my) mainstream representation with images of resilience, strength, and a celebration of spirited existence regardless of the social and economic hand they had been dealt.

The film would have been impossible to make without the enormous commitment of the residents and many others - who gave freely of time, equipment and resources to enable the film’s production. In this way it was deeply collaborative.

The film also seeks to challenge what a documentary about housing might be, even at this time of acute crisis within UK housing. It was a very conscious decision to move away from the statistical and expository towards a poetics of everyday life, built on the extended engagement detailed above.

It seeks to inhabit the reverie of the title, offering a certain tone of memory, subjective of course, but one grounded in a common experience of living within difference. This is perhaps a kind of utopian possibility, formed by the shared time of living in an environment confirmed for erasure. However, it also hopes to offer a modest signpost towards a wider relevance and way of being in the city; a more inclusive and supportive form of social and personal interaction, taking place within a more porous and collectively focused urban environment.

Estate, a Reverie
Produced by Fugitive Images
Directed by Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Filmed by Taina Galis, Lasse Johansson, Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Creative Consultant: Gareth Evans
Edited by Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas
Written by Adam Rosenthal, Gareth Evans, David Roberts
Songs composed and performed by Olivia Chaney
Sound by David Cunningham
With gratitude to all the participants in the film, my neighbors, friends, the Hackney City Farm, and strangers who came to share their time with us making this film.

This film is dedicated to the residents of the Haggerston and Kingsland estates (1936-2014), and in memory of Bruce, Jeff, John B. and Pam.

Set and costume by
Anne-Louise Buckley

Sound recording by
Stephen Connolly

Additional filming by
Chiara Ambrosio Elam Forrester Gillian McIver Dilek Erinc? O?zcan

Camera assistants
Sandy Krisari Rama Astraatmaja Sandy Sy Lee Ursula Pelczar

Elam Forrester
Rosie Fowler Sandy Sy Lee Naima Redina-Bock

Lasse Johansson Erol Kagan
David Roberts Andrea Luka Zimmerman

Historical workshops based on research by
David Roberts

Elam Forrester

Still Photography by
Briony Campbell

Costumes provided by
Central Saint Martins Costume Department

Grading and online by
Pundersons Gardens

Art works
Brett Amory Chantel Forrester Elam Forrester Tristan Fennell Lorna Forrester Lasse Johansson Andy Seize
Nazir Tanbouli
Ruth Marie Tunkara Andrea Luka Zimmerman Funarte (Nicaragua)

Ali Alizadeh
Emmanuel Amarch
Sabina Andron
Henrique Aragao
Max Barnett
John Batiste
Rosemary Bechler
Mor Ben-Adiva
Pat Berry Peter Bond
Maciek Borowski William Brown
Anne-Louise Buckley
Barry Buitekant
Amy Butt
Katie Butt
Mike Casajuana
Olivia Chaney
Ian Christie
Florrie Chessher
Ardley Craigie
Casey-Jay Crickmar
Pam Davie
Bernadette Devilat
Alberto Duman
Marjorie Edwards
Gareth Evans
Mathilda Finch
Chantel Forrester
Elam Forrester
Jahcheyse Forrester
Rosie Fowler
Helen George
Zoe Gorecka
DM Guinness
Jansel Guluri
Tuncay Gurhan
Ismail Gyn
John Hall
Stephen Hart
Therese Henningsen
Debrah Herring
Olivia Hewitt
Morgan Hudson
Brian Hughes
Isabel Janla
Adam Kalopsidiotis
Oliver Kester
Erin Lacy Felipe
Lanuza Rilling
Debra Leigh-Hering
Carol Li
Pik Shan
Helen Maier
Anna-Maria Mari
Granville Mayers
Gillian McIver
Colin McShwiggen
Chris MLF
Kim Mnguni
Elias Mnguni
Baby Mnguni
Catriona Mole
Stephanie Mulholland
Amy Mulholland-Lawrence
Jeff Munro
Lockhart Murdoch
Rosetta Murrain
Shawnice Murrain
Shawniya Murrain
So-Young Nam
Kieran Norrie
Connor Norrie
Tina Norrie
Isabel Nsimva
Jaila Nsimva
Yolanda O’Leary
Jude O’Shaughnessy
Justin O’Shaughnessy
Lewis Osborne
Dilek Ozcan
Ollie Palmer Andreas
Pedersen Signe Pedersen
Eric Phillip
Carol Poveda
Raymond Punyer
Tom Purdie
Neal Purvis
Andrew Quamiyie
Rhian Quamiyie
William Raban
E. Ratcliffe
Naima Redina-Bock
Jem Reeve
Paul Ribeiro
David Roberts
Lynn Roberts
Mandy Roche
Adam Rosenthal
Georgia Sangster Tom Sangster
Louise Sayarer
Andy Seize
Nusret Sen
Nick Strauss
Rowan Sloss
Helena Sparks
Sandy Sylee
Nazir Tanbouli
Lucy Thane
Amy Thomas
Una Thorpe
Jeremy Till
David Tringham
Ruth-Marie Tunkara
Smart Urhiefe
Bruce Vale
Quintina Valero
Darren Vandermark
Julia Vandermark
Julie Vandermark
Sam Vandermark
Toby Vandermark
Patrick Vernon
Ameeth Vijay
Eva Vikstrom
Christina Viti
Cathy Ward
Catherine Watts
Stephen Watts
Lila Wieconkowski
Marcin Wieconkowski
Lila Rose Wilkinson
Ceri Williams
Danielle Willkens
Rebecca Wilson
Ken Worpole
Kulak Zeycan
Marjorie Homer

Housewives Co-op' (BBC, 1973), interviews conducted by Bernard Falk.

Thanks to
Lukman Ahmed
Adrian Amos
Brett Armory
John Atkinson
Rosemary Bechler
Maria Benjamin
John Berger Gary Bird
Chris Bowler
Kate Burnett
Victor Buchli
Amy Butt
Ben Campkin
Danny Clark
Verity Cleary
Anna Colin
Julie Conrad
Ben Cook
Ross Crookshank
Hanna Dario Christian
Tristan Fennell
David George
Graham Girling
Cecilie Gravesen
Rowan Griffiths
Tuncay Gurhan
Paul Hallam
Shusaku Harada
Jenny Heyton
Danielle Hipkins
Simon Hipkins
Christo Hird
David Homewood
Owen Jones
Erol Kagan
Andy Kane
Alisa Lebow
Brian Longman
Irene Lusztig
Jessica Marlowe
Jonathan McShane
Faith Millin
Mariko Monpetit
Pauline Morphett
Steven Noble
Joshua Oppenheimer
Ollie Palmer
Chris Pounds
Neal Purvis
Jane Rendell
John Sergeant
Michael Smythe
Shane Solanki
Nick Strauss
Laurence Taylor
Anna Teeman
Joram TenBrink
Jeremy Valender
Stuart Verity
Minni Von Podewils
Bobby Williams
Dean Wingfield
Tinne Zenner
The participants of Open House, 2012 and all others who have made this film possible.