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Dark Days (2000)

 |  Documentary  |  9 March 2001 (UK)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,139 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 41 user | 51 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

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Storyline

Near Penn Station, next to the Amtrak tracks, squatters have been living for years. Marc Singer goes underground to live with them, and films this "family." A dozen or so men and one woman talk about their lives: horrors of childhood, jail time, losing children, being coke-heads. They scavenge, they've built themselves sturdy one-room shacks; they have pets, cook, chat, argue, give each other haircuts. A bucket is their toilet. Leaky overhead pipes are a source of water for showers. They live in virtual darkness. During the filming, Amtrak gives a 30-day eviction notice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary

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Release Date:

9 March 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Imeres sto skotadi  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,039 (USA) (1 September 2000)

Gross:

$426,687 (USA) (4 May 2001)
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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Singer was permitted to use a 16mm Bolex on loan from a camera house in New York without up-to-date payments. He was given left-over film stock on a "pay-later" basis from Kodak and other resources. The lab in New York that processed his negatives and prints also granted him this favor. He began editing on a flatbed, before he was granted the use of an avid at practically no charge from a friend of a friend. He also had complete and total creative control over the project and its final cut, also a rarity. See more »


Soundtracks

Lonely Soul
Performed by Unkle (as UNKLE)
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User Reviews

 
fascinating film with a remarkable story behind it
1 May 2001 | by (Ashland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

It's nigh-impossible not to be moved by Marc Singer's remarkable first film, about a community of homeless people living in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan. What's even more inspiring is how the film got made. Then-20-year-old Singer, who'd never before run a camera, lived underground with his subjects, recruited them as crew, convinced local merchants to donate equipment and even sold his own bed to buy film. His original goal in making the film was to fund its denizens' move out of the tunnel. The result is a fascinating slice of a part of life most of us have never considered. The characters are gritty, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and always very real. Dark Days takes homelessness out of the realm of sociological phenomenon and into an almost-visceral engagement with these people and their lives. We look in as the characters decorate their scrap-metal shacks with discarded material, earn their livings, emotionally support each other and ultimately struggle with their homes' demise. Though clearly Singer roots for his subjects, he avoids the temptation to pity them; he simply calls it as he sees it - and has lived it. There's even a happy ending.


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