Alum Peter Paul Jacques' Documentary Recalls 'San Francisco Before the Internet'

Monday, October 21, 2019
Photo of Market and Stockton streets in San Francisco daytime circa 1989
The intersection of Market and Stockton streets in San Francisco circa 1989. Photo courtesy of Peter Paul Jacques.

KQED ARTS (SAN FRANCISCO) -- “I remember my grandparents doing this in the car,” recalls filmmaker Peter Paul Jacques, who grew up in San Diego before relocating at the beginning of 1989 to study film at San Francisco State. “‘That used to be an ostrich farm.’ I’d go ‘Ugh, who cares, Grandma?’ Then you hit 50 and you go, ‘Ohhhh.’” Jacques’ forthcoming documentary, “SF89: San Francisco Before the Internet,” excavates and revisits the San Francisco of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a pivotal era in the lives of Jacques and his friends.

Of looking back over a period of massive change, Jacques muses, “What does that do to you inside? I think the theme of change is universal. We romanticize, ‘It used to be so great.’ People come up to me about this film, ‘You’re doing it about San Francisco in the good times.’ Well, it wasn’t that good.” Jacques laughs. “If we weren’t having a major earthquake, there were all kinds of [other] terrible, horrible [things].”