In the charming The Price of Cheap Rent, the search for affordable housing takes some hilarious and unexpected turns. Over the brief span of seven minutes, directors Amina Sutton and Maya Tanaka gleefully document the struggles of an artist (played by Sutton) trying to find suitable housing in expensive city New York. Landing on a place whose rent is almost too good to be true, the artist quickly learns that there are unfortunate trade-offs that one must make to live and work in the city.
Skillfully mixing various genre elements, Sutton and Tanaka create an engaging look at the impact of gentrification on communities. Using satire to deliver hard truths about racism and inequality, in a digestible way, the film entertains on several levels. While the film takes some rather unexpected turns, the wonderful performance by Sutton keeps things from going off the rails. The Price of Cheap Rent may not provide any answer on how to remedy gentrification, but it provides enough comedic food for thought to satisfy.