Los Angeles, once the whitest city in America, is now the most multicultural city in the world. Yet the city’s cultural transformation has gone largely overlooked by the movies, the media and even by many of its residents. The entertainment industry continues to churn out outdated images of L.A. while ignoring the many new stories emerging from the city’s increasingly diverse population.
A rare and thoughtful evocation of a city, Los Angeles Now looks beyond Baywatch and Blade Runner to create a fresh and candid portrait of America’s second largest city following the close of its “Anglo century” (1900–2000). A fascinating look at a city where more than half of the population is Latino and 40 percent are foreign born, the film uses a groundbreaking high-definition format to explore challenging questions and provocative points of view.
How will the city’s new Latino and Asian majorities work with other ethnic groups to create a cultural consensus? What is the future of L.A.’s unprecedented multiculturalism — will the city’s many neighborhoods balkanize, or coalesce? And despite earthquakes and a seemingly insatiable desire to destroy and rebuild, can the city retain a sense of history?
Los Angeles Now includes conversations with a broad range of the city’s figures, from acclaimed actress Salma Hayek and businessman/ philanthropist Eli Broad, to renowned author and essayist Richard Rodriguez and Cardinal Roger Mahony. Far-reaching and thought-provoking, the issues explored in the film are relevant well beyond the borders of the city — a city that, as filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez says is “defined by its energy,” not by geographical boundaries.
- Phillip RodriguezProducer