WHAT’S THE STORY?
The Tenderloin has long been known as the "heart" of San Francisco. It is the last refuge for elderly, disabled and low-income working people striving to stay in the city.
This area is perhaps the last frontier in SF's ever-expanding gentrification trend. It has a high density population and has prominent issues with drugs.
San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood can be a difficult place in which to live. Almost a quarter of the neighborhood’s residents live below the poverty level. It can be painful to look at how hard life is for some people. We think of that existing in some far-off country or continent, but it’s in our own backyard, right in downtown San Francisco.
At the same time, we’re talking to people about how much love there is among the residents of this neighborhood and the people who work there in order to improve the life of the Tenderloin residents.
Love Me Tenderloin shows the everyday life of four inhabitants living in the Tenderloin: Bridchette, Arnold, Woody and Indian Joe.
A typical sequence will illustrate each interviewee as he/she goes about a typical day.
WHY AM I MAKING THIS FILM?
In this documentary I wish to dispel the typical stereotypes people have of homeless people and of the Tenderloin. The homeless become that way for a variety of reasons, just as they come from a variety of backgrounds and situations.
I would like this film to be part of a process of replacing that alienation and blame with humaneness and connectivity.
When I arrived in San Francisco in early April, 2013, the first question that I asked people was: “Where should I live in the city?” And everyone around me had the same answer: “Don’t go to the Tenderloin” or “Avoid the Tenderloin”. These answers intrigued me so I decided to spend time in the Tenderloin in order to form my own opinion about this neighborhood.
And the more time I spent in the Tenderloin, the more fascinated I became with the people of this community.
Most of the people in San Francisco only know what they see on the news: violence, drugs, and poverty. But, there is much more to see in this community— stories that the larger population never sees or hears about. You realize there’s little to be afraid of and a lot more to understand.
Through this documentary film, I want to open people's eyes about life in the Tenderloin. I also want to raise awareness about homelessness in San Francisco in order to make people more compassionate towards this community.
I want to praise the Tenderloin’s hopeful side, where both unofficial and official organizations are providing a number of life-saving services to the city’s downtrodden.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Nowadays, it is quite usual to hear people criticize the homeless and very-low income people.
I believe this attitude should change, and do hope that through Love Me Tenderloin, the general public will perhaps be more compassionate towards people in need.
Moreover, this documentary film will show that even if the Tenderloin is often linked to issues related to homelessness and the drug trade, it is also a vibrant neighborhood where people are trying to get by and live daily.
WHO I AM:
I'm Henri Quenette, a 27-year old French documentary filmmaker.
After obtaining a Master of Films at university Paris III- La Sorbonne in 2011, I specialised in documentary films and co-directed the documentary film A Tiny Drop of Change in 2012 (selected at Ekotop Film Festival (Slovaquia) 2013, Brest Film Festival (France) 2013 and Cinespacio Film festival (Colombia) in 2013.)
I have been living in San Francisco since April, 2013 and I started working on Love Me Tenderloin in May, 2013.