American Displacement

Published September 24, 2015

PHOTO COURTESY OF BROAD GREEN PICTURES.

Set in Orlando, Florida, at the height of the housing crisis, Ramin Bahrani‘s 99 Homes is a cutting commentary on American capitalism that takes its beats from gangster classics like The Godfather. After losing his job building McMansions and being evicted from his family home, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) makes a deal with the devil: he starts working for the man who cast him out, realtor Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). Under Carver’s wing, Nash’s noble intentions are quickly twisted. It becomes clear, however, that the enemy is much bigger than Nash’s morally suspect mentor. Carver in isolation is not responsible for the hundreds of families living in motels along the highway to Disney World. “The real heavy is the system,” Bahrani explains, “and the system here is mainly the banks and the government. What does it mean when 85 human beings have as much wealth as 3.5 billion people?”