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Estate, A Reverie

Andrea Luka Zimmerman / 2015

English / 1 hour 23 minutes
United Kingdom


A film forged by the community and a spirited celebration of everyday humanity.


Nominated for the 2015 Grierson Award – Best Newcomer Documentary

Shortlisted for the 2016 Aesthetica Art Prize


Estate, a Reverie is a deeply moving portrait of a community struggling to survive in a boarded-up London public housing project, long slated for demolition. Multilayered and profound, Andrea Zimmerman’s film masterfully immerses us in a dreamlike lost-world of misfits, outcasts and survivors whom she films with love and aching tenderness. Her groundbreaking approach to cinema – at once collaborative and performative – creates a work of rare intimacy, a lyrical and gripping vision of the loneliness and disempowerment that haunts life even in the world’s wealthiest cities. – Joshua Oppenheimer, Director of The Act Of Killing

Knowing the previous work of its creators, I believe this project will achieve something very significant for the times we are living in. It will remind us ­- and how appropriate this is for the medium of film ­- that, both politically and humanly, the past is not behind us, not obsolescent, but beside us and urgent – John Berger

Poignant, and real, felt and important… a paean to survival, dignity, solidarity and community in the face of their erosion; political in a quiet but most urgent way, and personal – Uriel Orlow

Andrea Zimmerman’s extraordinary film, Estate, a Reverie, which documents the last days of a Hackney housing estate, is both profound and original. Having herself lived on the estate for many years, her tender portrait exhibits deep feelings of community and solidarity – sentiments almost entirely missing from our contemporary political vocabulary. She has given Hackney back, at last, some of its wayward heart – Ken Worpole

Estate, a Reverie tracks the passing of the Haggerston Estate in Hackney, London and the utopian promise of social housing it offered, with an unruly celebration of extraordinary everyday humanity.

Filmed over seven years, Estate, a Reverie reveals and celebrates the resilience of residents who are profoundly overlooked by media representations and wider social responses. Interweaving intimate portraits with the residents’ own historical re-enactments, landscape and architectural studies and dramatised scenes, Estate, a Reverie asks how we might resist being framed exclusively through class, gender, ability or disability, and even through geography…