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West 47th Street (2001)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 24 users  
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WEST 47th STREET is a feature-length theatrical documentary film. It follows the lives of four people with serious mental illness, over three years. The film provides an unprecedented ... See full summary »

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Title: West 47th Street (2001)

West 47th Street (2001) on IMDb 7.5/10

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WEST 47th STREET is a feature-length theatrical documentary film. It follows the lives of four people with serious mental illness, over three years. The film provides an unprecedented window on the lives of people who are often feared and ignored, seldom understood. Co-producers Bill Lichtenstein and June Peoples enjoyed an extraordinary degree of access to their lives, and shot more than 350 hours of tape: off and on the street, in and out of hospitals and homeless shelters, healthy -- and psychotic. The resulting stories, both warm and dramatic, are about people who approach tremendous obstacles with humor, optimism and grace. Written by Anonymous

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Four People You've Tried Not To Notice

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Documentary | Drama

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10 March 2001 (France)  »

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Cinema verite about homelessness and mental illness
24 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the story of several people who have been homeless at some point in their lives, and also have a mental illness. The film crew had incredible access to Fountain House, which is a combination homeless shelter/mental health treatment facility in New York City. They had 350 hours of videotape, edited to 82 minutes. The camera does not flinch away from hard subjects as you watch people trying to build their lives or work at a job or just get along in the world as best they can.

I showed it to two groups already--some homeschooled teenagers for whom I am running a class called "Psychology in the Movies," and one section of college freshmen in an Intro to Psychology class. Both times, great discussion. This film, which is subtitled "Four People You Have Tried Not To Notice," really made these people seem real and important to my students. They unanimously said I should show it every semester.

You see some successes and some failures. You get an idea about why these odd people do these odd things--and how it makes sense, from that person's perspective, once you know his or her back story. I highly recommend it.


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