On September 28, HBO is airing the new documentary San Francisco 2.0, directed by Alexandra Pelosi, and the film was screened last night here in town (SFist wasn't invited). As the Business Times shares, having been privy to a copy of the film, it's a "critical look at how San Francisco is changing amid the tech boom" and Pelosi even gets investor and mayor whisperer Ron Conway on camera to discuss the Twitter tax break, and the housing crisis.
Says Conway, "Now we do create problems. San Francisco is only six square miles and that's why we have a housing affordability issue that we have to deal with, but we are dealing with it. Apparently, per Mark Calvey of the Business Times, "His slip of the tongue on San Francisco's physical size has already spurred comments that Conway's ignoring the city's other 43 square miles."
For those of us living here and reading the news everyday, there's not likely to be a lot of new insight in the doc, and it sounds like it's more about informing everyone elsewhere about the awkward situation SF finds itself in in this new gold rush, with capitalism and market-borne change threatening SF's scrappy aesthetics and socially progressive ideals.
But Calvey can't help but sound oddly defensive, coming from the platform of the Business Times, in his write-up on the film, throwing in a half dozen parenthetical asides, like "(One wonders whether these critics advocate following China's lead in building ghost cities as an alternative to market forces shaping our cities.)" And "(Some might wonder whether critics really want to go back to the days when San Francisco's inner-city neighborhoods, like most cities across the nation, were plagued with crime and derelict properties.)"
My biggest problem, not yet having watched the film, is the title. Is this really San Francisco 2.0? That assumes the city has been in its 1.0, beta version for an awfully long time until this latest tech boom came along to advance it.