Film Launches To Preserve The Social Integrity of the World’s Most Iconic Communities
Filmmaker Aro Korol is launching a new film exploring gentrification and the threat facing culturally iconic addresses around the world. The Battle of Soho focuses on the plight faced by the home of a globally-recognised and revered subculture.
Inspired by the closure of the world-famous Madame Jojo’s, the film features interviews with a whole host of familiar faces including Lindsay Kemp, Philip Sallon, and 80’s pop icon Marilyn, for whom Soho’s seedy, sexy, and bohemian soul has been a mainstay for almost five decades. Today, the effects of privatisation and sanitisation are impacting the performers, patrons, and personalities of the area, as well as those who live there.
The Battle of Soho draws parallels to London’s loss of authenticity with similar cities around the world including New York, whose creative community was similarly devastated by the closure of music club CBGB IN 2006. Urging audiences to get involved in the efforts to preserve such areas, the film touches on the hardship caused by the privatisation of social housing as the last wave of original tenants are priced out.
Aro Korol, filmmaker of The Battle of Soho said, “I was born in Poland, but I have lived in Germany, France, and New York as well as London, and I have seen this process of gentrification happening everywhere. When a venue as valued as Madame Jojo’s closes you can’t ignore it, and I could see echoes of the cultural decline in New York reverberating here. I hope that this film inspires the same passion with audiences as I felt from the individuals I met while making it, as it is through this passion that we can work together to protect a key part of our social identity.”
Korol journeys with campaigners, business owners, and journalists who are rallying to prevent the disintegration of the art scenes in areas such as Soho amid the controversial Crossrail proposals. By protesting, objecting, and offering support to those most affected by the changes happening in Soho, they hope to use their collective power to save London from the same fate that has befallen New York.
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