Law Geeks Rejoice: Property Rights on the Big Screen in ‘Little Pink House’


“Is your property yours? Not if the government takes it.” So begins John Stossel’s new video for Reason TV about the soon-to-be-released film Little Pink House.

Stossel discusses the history of eminent domain—the legal power that allows local governments to seize property from owners for supposedly public purposes—and how it was famously applied in real life to take the home of New London, Connecticut nurse Susette Kelo in the early 2000s. Kelo’s legal fight to keep her home in turn inspired screenwriter and director Courtney Balaker to create the film starring Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Capote) and Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, Criminal Minds) that is rolling our nationwide later this month.

Though it is only being seen in commercial theaters now, it has been making the rounds of the festival circuit for quite a while. I blogged about its public debut at the Santa Barbara Film Festival last year, for example, and it has been widely and positively reviewed, garnering media mentions everywhere from the Washington Post and ABA Journal to Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. If you’re interested in seeing the story on the big screen yourself, check the list of screenings on the film’s website. It’s probably coming to a city near you soon.

See also my colleague Marc Scribner’s past updates on the impact of Kelo v. New London (2005) on the fifth and tenth anniversaries of the ruling.