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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
The film was shot on 16mm black and white film stock, not as a creative decision, but because according to Singer, a filmmaker friend had told him, "If you shoot color and you don't know what you're doing, you'll fuck it all up and it will come out looking all green or red." See more »
This movie is amazing. Essentially made by the homeless about the homeless (with some help from an Englishman with no film experience). The 16mm looks amazing, and the darkness of the underground is a great setting. This movie won awards at Sundance and it's not hard to see why, this sort of bleeding heart left story line is always good for a for awards. This film actually deserved all the awards and it's not often I say that about a movie. It is essentially the story of homeless people living in a community under Penn Station in New York, and all the characters are engaging and fun, even if it is hard to understand them at times. This is what documentary film making should be about, this movie wasn't made by a film student, it was made by someone who felt deeply for the homeless and decided to help them. And because of this film all the homeless living there were given homes.
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