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PUSH follows Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing on her travels and explains how global finance is the root cause of exploding rents in cities all over the globe.


Berlin also pops up. A Kreuzberg cafe owner complains about the rent increase of 600 euros and Florian Schmidt from the district council of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg talks about the district‘s housing reacquisitions. The situation is the same everywhere: In London survivors of the big fire of Grenfall Tower are still waiting for new housing, in Valparaiso luxury apartments are being built in a park without a construction permit, in Sweden the majority of social housing belongs to the biggest real estate company Blackstone, and in Toronto a pub owner jokes with his guests: “do you know what the first sign is that you have to move immediately? Vintage clothing stores! Nothing is worse for a neighbourhood than poor people with style!“ But gentrification was yesterday. PUSH accompanies UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Lailana Farha on her research trip around the world. With the stories of people she meets and the analysis of experts, with a special focus on sociologist and economic scientist Saskia Sassen and economist Joseph Stiglitz (both from Columbia University), the film paints a picture of a financial business that has led to the displacement and impoverishment of citizens worldwide. A global financial business has come out of the conventional 80s business model of income through rent and added value through speculation. Stiglitz formulates it this way “companies like Blackstone aren‘t evil, but they‘re completely amoral.“ The needs of the renters don‘t come up in this scenario. Together with mayors from all over the world, Leilani Farha advocates for a change in housing as a human right which protects citizens and is divorced from the speculation business.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Push
Schweden 2019, 92 min
Genre: Documentary
Director: Frederik Gertten
Author: Fredrik Gertten
Distributor: mindjazz pictures
Release: 06.06.2019


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