Dark Days (2000)
Critic Consensus: Marc Singer's documentary about a group of homeless people living beneath the streets of New York City is haunting and uplifting in equal measure.
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Critic Reviews for Dark Days
This is the world discovered and illuminated by gonzo documentarian Marc Singer, who spent a good part of two years living with and chronicling the lives of a half-dozen tunnel dwellers for his remarkable first film, Dark Days
The lives of these people inside their shacks are full of surprises as well as grim confirmations, but the things we don't know about them also significantly shape our experience of the film.
Singer deserves credit for attempting to put a human face on such tragic circumstances, but he appears to have gotten so close to his main subjects that he seems unwilling to make them, or their desperate situation, look too bad.
Some of these hardy souls have lived this way for years, decades even, and they've lived not just to tell the tale but to suggest that they've created a viable alternative existence. At times, Dark Days almost makes you envious. But only almost.
Audience Reviews for Dark Days
New York City homeless create a small community in Amtrak's tunnels.
While there's no hero or central figure in Dark Days, one gets the sensation that all of these people are together living one life. With a few exceptions, many of them are drug-addled and have shady pasts. My father used to say that we're all one bad day from being homeless, an assertion one of my right-wing professors in graduate school scoffed at, and what few stories we see of these people's pasts prove my father's point. I wish the documentary had more of these because the nagging question throughout was how these people got to be where they are, but I suppose that, as one of the film's subjects stated, one has to live day to day in order to survive, which doesn't leave too much time for reflecting about the past.
Overall, I would have liked to have seen more inidividualization of the documentary's subjects, but for what it is, Dark Days is a very strong film about the forgotten members of our society.
A brutally honest look at the world of homeless people in New York. We get to hang out with these people as they try and build a life in the underground tunnels of Amtrack. They don't make any attempt to tell a story here. They just let life play out and take us along for the ride.
This was really interesting in being able to see how these people really live. They're making the most of their situation and it shows them as real people who realise their mistakes and feel guilty about what they've done and wish it could be changed. It's also really good that these people were allowed a second chance because of this film.
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