Show Me a Hero's racial, class tensions continue today: Paul Haggis
HBO housing segregation drama revisits legal battle in 1980s New York
Racial tension, class struggle and political ambition collide in the anticipated new miniseries Show Me a Hero, produced by former journalist, writer and The Wire creator David Simon and directed by Oscar-winner Paul Haggis.
Set in the late 1980s, the three-part drama explores the legal battle fought in Yonkers, N.Y., over federally mandated public, low-income housing.
Though Show Me a Hero dramatizes events almost three decades in the past, the series also shows how little we've progressed in terms of race relations.
"[The legacy of slavery] has grown to just fester in America. We keep thinking in America that we've solved it, that everybody's on a level playing field," London, Ont.-born director Haggis told CBC News in an interview in Toronto Friday.
"[Even in Canada], we're starting to see those same problems. Differently perhaps, but we're starting to fear the other," he added.
"They're sticking all the poor people up in this area. They're putting up these big towers. Whether tall or wide, it doesn't matter. You're segregating them."
Watch more of Haggis's interview in the video above.
The series centres on Nick Wasicsko (portrayed by Oscar Isaac), who at the time was a naive, incoming new mayor — the nation's youngest — who quickly found himself entangled in the complex, highly volatile situation. The star-studded cast includes Bob Balaban, Jim Belushi, Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina and Winona Ryder.
Show Me a Hero airs in three parts, premiering Aug. 16, on HBO Canada.