St. Louis’ Spanish Lake area is the subject of a new documentary, and if all the slowly zooming text with thumping soundtrack is the be believed, it’s the scene of a brutal murder of several slutty teenagers by a machette wielding crazy man that escaped from some place that doesn’t really matter…oh and you can’t kill the guy for some reason.
[Phillip] Morton, 32, is now an independent filmmaker based in Los Angeles. The rapid transformation of the north St. Louis County community he calls his hometown, though it has never been incorporated, forms the basis of his documentary, “Spanish Lake.”
“I really wanted to research all the dynamics that went into the phenomenon of white flight in Spanish Lake,” Morton said in a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles.
Never mind, it’s a documentary about race and economic boundaries. Slowing zooming text timed to musical crescendos used to mean something, but now just any thing can use that it seems!
The area was sparsely populated before World War II but quickly grew with an influx of whites from north St. Louis.
As recently as 1970, Spanish Lake was 99 percent white and 1 percent black.
But the 1970s also marked the beginning of a mass migration of African-Americans from the city of St. Louis. Many left failed housing complexes such as Pruitt-Igoe to settle in government-subsidized Section 8 housing in North County.
The documentary looks interesting and, in a lot of ways, seems like an accidental sequel [Editor’s Note: Can documentaries have sequels?!] to the acclaimed, and also St. Louis focused, documentary “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth“. Morgan is wrapping up production now in preparation for festival showings later this year, and hopes to land a distributer in the process. We’ll keep you posted if we hear of a release data or a local showing.
Here’s a little known fact: I, The Editor, was born in Spanish Lake. Everything was great until we saw a total drug deal going down a few houses down our block from us, and while looking back it might have just been our black mailman delivering a package to the also black family down the street, but alas, we’ll never know what was in that “L.L. Bean” package. Anyway, we high-tailed it out of there to St. Charles County. It’s not that we thought crime only happened in Spanish Lake, it’s that we were far more comfortable with “White People Crimes” like high school girls shoplifting panties from the Dillard’s in the mall, the kid with the hemp necklace and the endless supply of Grateful Dead t-shirts growing weed in his parents detached guest house, and serial murderers that eat the bodies and make underwear out of the nippular area.