Decade of Fire
How the South Bronx Was Burned
A Feature Documentary by Vivian Vazquez, Gretchen Hildebran and Julia Allen
In the 1970s, when Vivian Vazquez was growing up in the South Bronx, she never thought of her neighborhood as a slum. It was her world and she loved it. But by the time she was 18, the South Bronx she had known was gone. In ten years, fires had destroyed almost all the houses where Vivian lived and almost half a million people had fled. People never knew who’s building would be next. By the time Vivian left, her street looked like a war zone – burnt out shells of buildings and empty lots piled with rubble.
Decade of Fire is a film about what happened to Vivian’s neighborhood and those who survived the destruction of their South Bronx communities. 30 years later, Vivian returns to her old neighborhood looking for answers: Why did the Bronx burn? Who let the fires rage on for so long? And what happened to those who were left behind?