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Dark Days (2000)

 -  Documentary  -  9 March 2001 (UK)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,731 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 42 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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Title: Dark Days (2000)

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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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Plot Keywords:

amtrak | tunnel | new york | eviction | poverty | See more »

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Release Date:

9 March 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Days  »

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

The soundtrack for the film was provided by DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis), who is a critically-acclaimed producer and DJ. He is notorious, however, for being very protective of licensing his music for other venues or projects, having declined many other scoring offers in the past. When a friend of Singer's saw the footage assembled to a rough cut, he suggested Shadow for the soundtrack. Singer got hold of a couple of Shadow's albums, and loved the music so much, he began to cut the music into his film without any contact with the DJ. When fellow producer Ben Freedman told him he would need the rights to the music, the duo concocted a scheme whereby they would write a note to him and give it to an attractive female friend who would go backstage after a show and personally hand-deliver it. It worked. Weeks later, the two scheduled a flight to LA to coincide with a last-minute meeting with Shadow and his agent. According to Shadow, he was prepared to turn down the men's offer to use his music. But when they showed him a rough edit of the film with his music that Singer had already cut-in, Shadow was taken aback and completely impressed. He not only let them use existing titles, but even remixed some older tracks intercut with new audio samples recorded by Singer in the tunnels as a special score done for the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2001 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight In A Perfect World
Performed by DJ Shadow
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User Reviews

 
Dark Days captures the consequences of human suffering and hardship
8 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dark Days is an excellent documentary highlighting the hardships faced by the homeless people of New York City. Castigated and mistreated by citizens and government officials on the streets, the homeless resort to living in the underground railway tunnels, where they will be left alone. Mark Singer does an excellent job of showing that the 'land of the free' is not so free when people are denied basic human rights. Singer allows his audience to partake in communication with the homeless, something we rarely take the time to do when we pass a homeless person on the streets. His documentary helps us understand their backgrounds and misfortunes and how they came to be homeless. Singer's documentary really compels one to fight the stereotypes and discomforts associated with the homeless. He captures human suffering in a place where we most often forget to look for it.


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