Taking of Bodine: Never Forget, The

Produced by: 
Community Leadership Institute with Scribe Video Center

Individual Film Price:

Higher Education Institutions & Government Agency DVD | $49.95
K-12 & Public Libraries DVD | $49.95
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply | $20.00



Precious Places Compilation Price:

This video is available for purchase as part of a Precious Places Community History Project Vol.1 compilation DVD.

Higher Education Institutions & Government Agency DVD | $139.00
K-12 & Public Libraries DVD | $79.00
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply | $20.00



Scribe Video Center Program:

The Precious Places Community History Project is a community oral history project inviting members of the Philadelphia region's many neighborhoods to document the buildings, public spaces, parks, landmarks and other sites that hold the memories of our communities and define where we live. Precious Places teaches the video production process to participating groups, fostering projects authored by those who intimately know the featured neighborhoods.


Production Consultant: Anula Shetty
Humanities Consultant: Debora Kodish
Post Production: Gail Lloyd


Film Summary:

The Taking of Bodine is a harrowing glimpse into one of the darker episodes of Philadelphia's urban revitalization saga. In 2002 and 2003, residents of the multi-ethnic Norris Square/West Kensington neighborhood received notices that their homes would be repossessed by the city under the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, a redevelopment plan. Blight criteria included "economically or socially undesirable land use," allowing developers to make requests to the city to repossess land belonging to long-time residents. Although some of the 2000 named properties and houses were abandoned, many were occupied and well maintained by their owners. Shocked residents received bureaucratically-worded notices; many did not immediately understand that their houses were being taken. Spanish-speaking homeowners received notices in English.

Led by neighborhood organizer Rosemary Cubas, the Community Leadership Institute contends that many good neighbors are being pushed out, houses bulldozed, and land devalued in a plan that promises “development,” but not for the current residents. Holding a copy of a Property Acquisition Request Form, Cubas explains the anatomy of an urban land grab: "If I think I can make better use of your land, I can make a request...I can ask for your land, and possibly get it." The Taking of Bodine is an essential treatment of the complexities of urban renewal, and a community's effort to protect what is theirs.


Citations in Academia: 
Private Property and Public Power: Eminent Domain in Philadelphia by Debbie Becher, Oxford University Press 2014
Property Rights and Neoliberalism: Cultural Demands and Legal Actions by Laura J. Hatcher, Routledge 2016

November 30, 2016 | "Memorializing Displacement’ brought the world to St. Louis" by Mark Loehrer, The St. Louis American

Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 
March 7, 2006 | Community film showcase at St. Mary's Episcopal Church
September 7, 2008 | Eco-Film Forum, Greenfest Philly
October 10, 2008| "Politics As Usual?" exhibit with the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association Presents
March 3, 2011 | "Precious Places" display at Slought
January 11, 2017 | Broadcast on WHYY-TV

Film Stills: