If Little Pink House, a new movie starring Catherine Keener and directed by Courtney Balaker, were the usual Hollywood tale of humble citizens abused by a mighty corporation and its political allies, you could expect it to find its way to a happy ending, with the little guys prevailing and their powerful antagonists getting their comeuppance.
Little Pink House isn't that kind of film. It recounts the true story of Susette Kelo (played by Keener) and her working-class neighbors in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Conn., whose homes were seized by eminent domain to clear the way for an upscale private development at the behest of Pfizer, the Big Pharma colossus. The tiny band of homeowners, represented by idealistic lawyers from the Institute for Justice, fought their eviction all the way to the Supreme Court—and lost. In one of the most infamous decisions in its history, the court ruled, 5-4, that property owners can be stripped of their land whenever the government decides that a wealthier owner would put it to more lucrative use.