The Digital Remaster
Now on DVD,
updated  with added bonus  
Written, Produced and Directed by
Curtis Choy

Cinematography by
Emiko Omori, Curtis Choy
& many others

Narrated by Al Robles
(1983) (revised 1993 and 2005)
58 minutes
View the trailer
Festival Awards

Atlanta, 1st Prize
Palo Alto, 1st Prize
Big Muddy, Best of Festival
National Housing, 1st Prize
San Francisco, Hon. Mention
The Fall of the I-Hotel brings to life the battle for
housing in San Francisco.  The brutal eviction of the
International Hotel's tenants culminated a decade of
spirited resistance to the razing of Manilatown.

The Fall of the I-Hotel works on several levels.  It not
only documents the struggle to save the I-Hotel, but
also gives an overview of Filipino American history.  
Through personal interviews with elderly Filipinos (the
"manongs"), we hear of hardships resulting from racial
brutality and discriminatory legislation.  We see the
once-thriving Filipino community that centered around
the International Hotel, a place which provided low-cost
housing for seamen, farm and cannery workers,
houseboys, and single working men--the Filipinos who
came to America to find a better life during the 1920's.  
In the 1950's, the I-Hotel was the heart of Manilatown's
10,000 people.  Business interests and the City
government planned the expansion of San Francisco's
"Wall Street of the West."  By 1968, all that remained
of Manilatown was the one block that housed the
International hotel.  The owner wanted to replace the
hotel with a parking garage, catalyzing a movement of
senior citizens, churches, labor groups and community
activists to preserve the I-Hotel as low-cost housing for
the elderly, and as an Asian community center.  
Despite political maneuvering at City Hall and popular
support for the hotel residents, 300 baton-wielding and
horse-mounted police broke through several thousand
people (the "human barricade") surrounding the
building, and forcibly evicted 50 elderly tenants in the
pre-dawn hours of August 4, 1977.  

This is not just a story about old men in an old
building, but of multiple tragedies:  ethnic communities
redeveloped out of existence, housing gobbled up by
realtors, the shabby treatment of the elderly, the
betrayal of American ideals learned in the Phillipines
by its American pioneers.

The Fall of the I-Hotel serves as witness to the
community's fight to survive, and as tribute to the
dignity and strength of the Manongs.
Program Themes

- Filipinos in America
- elderly
- housing
- urban studies
- 70's activism
- e
Suitable for

Ethnic Studies
Public libraries
Housing groups
Community groups
Immigration studies
Labor studies
"There is dramatic and historic
punch in Choy's outstanding
film...a powerful and moving
account of the Filipino
immigrants..."      -
S.F. Chronicle

"...meticulously charts the
ultimate destruction of San
Francisco's Manilatown..."  
 - Oakland Tribune

"International Hotel film is history
come alive."      
- Philippine News

"...captures I-Hotel history and
spirit of the '70's."    
 - East/West

"...your film has lost no
resonance over the years, but in
fact has grown in stature and
meaning...  the filmmaking - the
editing, the sound, the music,
the structure, the humanistic
love of the people - should also
be revered as part of the history
of documentary film."
 - R. Zagone
Above photo by Chris Huie
Pricing for The Fall of The I-Hotel

Institutions:     $225

Home use:  $40
photo by Nikki Arai
I Hotel, the book
see the Original Movie Poster