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3 reviews, 5 user ratings

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Dark Days
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by Greg Muskewitz

"The 'why' I usually don't hang out for documentaries."
3 stars

Dark Days is another case of me getting excited about something I'm not really excited about. There isn't particularly anything bad about it, but it reiterates to myself why I don't usually attend documentaries.

The subject being documented in Dark Days by director Marc Singer were the homeless living in a subway/Amtrak tunnel of New York City. The homeless subjects that Singer interviews and follows, were also his tech crew.

It's not as simple as retelling a plot, but Singer, who pretty much stays out of the limelight, or any light in fact, is trying to show that these people, many of whom are there for drug addictions and just bad vicissitudes. What he shows is that deep down and beneath all this (he really doesn't have to go that far down, metaphorically, to prove it) is that these people are basically good people. They're human and decent people.

The presentation (it's in a presentable black-and-white finish) plays like a "The Real World: New York Subway." Each of the participants, all of whom have there own built up "apartments" with electricity, etc., Henry, Dee, Tito, Greg, Ronnie, et al., have their stories shown as glances and minced segments until each has a semi-confession and revelation of what led them down there. Dee’s meditation on smoking crack versus smoking pot is enlightening, and rings true. And just as much as the vernacular of the participants is unfiltered of its profanity, it is littered with as many “You know,” and “You know what I mean,” as a statement punctuating the end of a sentence, and not asking as question.

Singer also lived with his group in that subway tunnel for two years, isolating himself from the rest of the outside world. Dark Days is interesting, but I never found it as interesting as I thought or hoped it was going to be. I had heard some early word from those in New York where it open prior to here, and, as I said before, not being one to come out of the woodwork for most any documentaries, I had some high hopes for this that didn't land near them. But Singer and his crew are all very dedicated, and the glimpse he gives us is uplifting and educational. The camera work is very good, better than many of the big-budgeted movies I've seen, and that is a feat in itself.

Final Verdict: B.

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originally posted: 01/06/01 06:16:02
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User Comments

9/26/05 a. kurlovs interesting idea, moving, good soundtrack 4 stars
1/31/05 Paul A very fascinating perspective worth taking a look into. 5 stars
5/15/04 Christopher Bollweg Haunting, subtile, compassionate. 5 stars
3/10/04 Wutang Great Documentary 5 stars
12/15/03 angela smith offers a real look what it means to be homeless- a survivor 4 stars
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Directed by
  Marc Singer

Written by

  Marc Singer

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