The son of a famous Nazi filmmaker shoots a movie and meets the former city commander of Vilna, a man who ordered the killing of many thousands of people. The film is a documentary made ... See full summary »
The story begins in Patagonia, deep south in Argentina, where researchers look for the remains of a German U-boat landing. This search leads them to Argentina during the '30 before Second ... See full summary »
Laura Arias Brin,
I saw this at the Seattle Int'l Film Festival with the director in attendance. She was a slim blonde Englishwoman, a photographer and a friend of Nick Rhodes (of Duran Duran fame), who said that while in Los Angeles, it was the large amount of homeless people pushing "trollies" (shopping carts) that inspired her to make this documentary. She initially focused on how they obtained them and how they were used (i.e. as ways to cart their belongings, as ways to make a living recycling cans and bottles to support drug habits) and then she zooms in on several homeless who agreed to be filmed by her and let her into their lives. In the course of their movie you become moved by their plight, and in between the movie discusses statistics of homelessness, the percentage that are war veterans and mentally ill, the increasing lack of beds available to them in the city, and interviews activists with visions of how to help the homeless, former homeless people who describe how they have gotten out, and homeless who more or less feel doomed to remain as they are and why. In one scene she invites a homeless person she has gotten to know to attend a charity ball for the homeless at a luxury hotel - and amusingly, she has the camera record the shocked expressions of the tuxedoed valets as she asks them airily in her English accent to park her friend's shopping cart loaded with garbage bags of belongings in between the squads of limos arriving.
The movie is artistically shot, with plenty of great music from Lou Reed, John Cale, and Nick Rhodes, among others, which was donated as they are all socially conscious activists. Altogether an excellent movie about a depressing topic, delivered in much the way Mary Poppins delivers medicine with a spoonful of sugar. This movie reminds me of Born Into Brothels, also shown at the SIFF, which began with a female photographer who as she became more intimate with her subjects, took the opportunity to utilize the documentary form as a vehicle for enlightenment and social change.
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