Never Surrender

The fight for environmental justice in Bayview-Hunters Point, San Francisco

About the film

This documentary film is the result of more than two years of research and fieldwork in Bayview-Hunters Point neighbourhood, San Francisco. It narrates the community fight for environmental justice, and documents the conflict between people and government over the safety of the shipyard.

Decades of remediation work at Hunters Point Shipyard, a former military base contaminated during the Second World War and beyond, were revealed to be fraudulent and data was falsified. This turned the biggest redevelopment project in San Francisco into the biggest eco-fraud case in US history.

Never Surrender film poster
Never Surrender film poster

The team

M. Reza Shirazi: Writer, Director, Camera

M. Reza Shirazi is an urbanist, researcher, and a Reader in Sustainable Urban Development at the School of Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University. He is an expert in socio-cultural sustainability, neighbourhood planning and design, citizen participation, urban justice, and discourse studies. He has done extensive research on different regions and cities in Europe, North America and MENA (Middle East-North Africa).

Reza Shirazi has been awarded several research grants and fellowships. He was Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) at UC Berkeley (2018-2020) and principal investigator of the EU-funded research project “(Un)Just Neighbourhoods: Socio-Spatial Justice in Urban Neighbourhoods”.

He has published several articles in leading peer-reviewed journals. His recent books include: 

  • Urban Social Sustainability: Theory, Practice and Policy (Routledge, 2019)
  • Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in Iran: Tradition, Modernity, and the Production of ‘Space-In-Between’ (Springer, 2018)
  • Citizens’ Participation in Urban Planning and Development in Iran: Challenges and Opportunities (Routledge, 2017)
  • Towards an Articulated Phenomenological Interpretation of Architecture: Phenomenal Phenomenology (Routledge, 2014).
M. Reza Shirazi

Serginho Roosblad: Editor

Serginho Roosblad is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist and photographer, based in San Francisco, California. His work has been published by PBS Newshour, KQED News and KQED Arts, Voice of America,, AJ+, The Guardian, The Africa Report, Africa is a Country, The San Francisco Chronicle, RNW, Amnesty International and many others.

Serginho holds a Masters of Journalism degree from UC Berkeley, a Masters of Philosophy degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Hogeschool Utrecht (The Netherlands).

Serginho Roosblad


This film and research has received funding from HORIZON 2020, European Commission.

Recent screenings

Never Surrender film screening and panel discussion

Never Surrender film screening and panel discussion

12 November 2020

'Never Surrender' was screened on Thursday, 12 November 2020. It was followed by a panel discussion with the director, community members and activists. This event was sponsored by the Bayview Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Committee, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, San Francisco Bay View newspaper and Oxford Brookes University.

Never Surrender film screening

28 October 2020

'Never Surrender' was screened on 28 October 2020 as part of the "Urban Documentary - Virtual Movie Nights" series. The series will screened and discussed six documentary films from classics to contemporary, encompassing themes from housing inequalities to urban design and environmental justice. 

Contact us

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