Bunker Hill


Dir. Kent MacKenzie, 35mm or 16mm B/W Sound 00:17:00

Page Contents


Kent Mackenzie's graduate film project BUNKER HILL-1956, described the plight of elderly pensioners living in a rundown tenement section near the Los Angeles City Hall who were faced with eviction to make way for proposed Civic Center improvements.

Kent Mackenzie first conceived of THE EXILES during the making of his short film BUNKER HILL while a student at the University of Southern California. In July 1957, Mackenzie began to hang around with some of the young Indians in downtown Los Angeles. After a couple of months, he broached the subject of making a film that would present a realistic portrayal of Indian life in the community.

Five years before Kent MacKenzie made THE EXILES, about Native Americans in Downtown Los Angeles, he made a 17-minute student film at USC showing everyday life in the Bunker Hill neighborhood in 1956. The film centers on pensioners living out their years dreading that the city was going to demolish their neighborhood to create a new downtown, which is exactly what happened. Included is nice footage of Angels Flight in its original location beside the 3rd Street tunnel, Grand Central Market, the Angels Flight Pharmacy and the view of City Hall and Downtown from the hill.

[Source: Milestone Films Website]
[Source: LA Observed]