DARK DAYS, Movie Review by Matthew M.
I’ve been sitting at the computer for a good chunk of time, pondering over how I should start describing Dark Days. Words still fail me. I had no idea, and never want to ever think of again, just what kind of vision this movie engraved in me of what homelessness is truly like. People no different from us, suffering through calamities of leaving spouses, drugs, etc. come down to places like the on shown in this documentary: a system of train tunnels, desolate, free places. They literally make their own homes. They come up to the surface only to collect salvageable food and sellable goods…from trash, for they’re afraid and fed up with people discriminating against them and the police always telling them to “move along.” It’s a world I had no clue existed.
The most noticeable thing I noticed when the movie started was that it was all black and white. Sensible, I mean, just take another look at the title. It definitely gets several points across: the mediocrity these people live in, the sense of “Oh. Black and white? This is old! I don’t wanna watch this.” It plays its subtle roll throughout the course of the movie, for once you get further into the film, you forget it’s even there. You’re in their world now. And by the end, you realize “Hey, that wasn’t all that bad for a black and white movie,” (at least after you sit and reflect on what you just got done watching).
The next thing was the whole exposure: drugs, swearing, violence, destruction of property. All of these things, whether we like it or not, are part of today’s world. It’s the real thing. Someone actually had to go and live these peoples’ lives, become one of them, and I thank them for their efforts. Seeing it on a screen helps us get past the smell, the senses, to show us that these are just ordinary people who’ve had it rough either inwardly or with events in their lives. I’ve come to see that homeless people aren’t the lazy bums we expect, either. They work and tire, they go so far as—as in the film being referenced—to make their own mini-societies.
But the best part this movie had to offer was how these people got a second chance. They were told to leave the place they called home for many, many years, but in exchange for a job and the chance to start over. Many of them were happy to leave with this offer and got going again some saying that they couldn’t believe that they had actually lived the way they did and that they thought they could never to go back.