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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.
i cannot help but feel that this examination of such a delicate matter
has been exercised with quite the most remarkable sensitivity by the
director Mads Farley,who quite obviously won the hearts of the homeless
.With their help,she indeed educates and shames society in its lack of
acknowledgement and responsibility of a situation which initially was
quite unnecessary but has since offered a far better and honest
standard of living than that which society seems to pride itself on.
"He prayeth best who loveth best, All things both great and small, For
the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."
S.T.Coleridge-The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
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