offoffoff film
 RELATED PROJECTS

      







 ADVERTISEMENT













Site links
  • OFFOFFOFF Home
  • About OFFOFFOFF
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
     
    Search the site:
     

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links


    Top 10 lists


  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies


  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Babies
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue

    Festivals


  • Brooklyn International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival

    Archive


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • King of Shadows
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My F├╝hrer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro

  •  REVIEW: DARK DAYS

    Clarence cooks dinner while Ronnie looks on outside the train tunnel where the two homeless men live. in Dark Days
    Clarence cooks dinner while Ronnie looks on outside the train tunnel where the two homeless men live.

    Tunnel vision

    The documentary "Dark Days" gives an unromanticized and fascinating glimpse of the lives of a community of homeless people surviving in a train tunnel in Manhattan.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    "You'd be surprised," says Ralph, from his home inside an underground Amtrak tunnel in Manhattan, "what the human mind and the human body can adjust to."

      
    DARK DAYS
    Directed by: Marc Henry.
    Produced by: Marc Henry, Ben Freedman.
    Featuring: Clarence, Dee, Greg, Henry, Julio, Ralph, Ronnie, Tito, Tommy.

    Related links: Official site
    You will be surprised indeed when you see "Dark Days," a stunning documentary that burrows into a community of tunnel-dwellers somewhere under what appears to be Riverside Park. The members of this unseen underground are, by the estimate of one, more than 80 percent crackheads, many have been to prison and some show obvious mental difficulties or antisocial tendencies. But there's a striking variety in their psychology and their lives. Some have constructed modest but functional houses for themselves, and obsess about cleanliness in order to keep the rats away. Others live more or less like the rats themselves — a point made emphatically by filmmaker Marc Singer when he follows a scene of the homeless people raiding restaurant garbage bags for food with a shot of rats grabbing at abandoned scraps.

    Dee shaves Ralph's head while temporarily living in his shack. in Dark Days  
    Dee shaves Ralph's head while temporarily living in his shack.
      
    The most interesting people we see in "Dark Days" are those — like Ralph, especially — who understand the mistakes of their younger years and appear ready to rebuild their lives above ground. Yet, they seem powerless to make that new start, trapped in a hole they can't climb out of. "At first, I gave it like a cap — two weeks. And then it became like home," says Tito, a five-year resident.

    The movie has what I consider a surprise ending, which arises after Amtrak officials decide to forcibly remove the homeless people from the tunnel, and the Coalition for the Homeless comes to their defense. We have a sense of which of these people are equipped to survive in the world and which ones can't, and it would be interesting to see what has become of them a year or two after they've left the tunnel. Perhaps filmmaker Singer — who spent an amazing two years below ground and put the homeless to work in the production process — will make a much needed epilogue to cap this fascinating documentary.

    SEPTEMBER 4, 2000
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Dark Days:

  • Dark Days   from Petra, Sep 15, 2001
  • the animals seen in the film   from kathy, Aug 16, 2002
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from Steve, Feb 18, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from Orinthal, Mar 4, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from jason lang, Mar 7, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from joseph herrerra, Aug 16, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from teo, Sep 23, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from bulldog the great, Oct 12, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from Good point, Oct 18, 2005
  • Re: the animals seen in the film   from concerned in alaska, May 19, 2006
  • dark days   from heikki, Dec 27, 2003
  • Dark Days   from , Feb 1, 2006
  • Dark days   from Tim Sibbel, Mar 30, 2007
  • Dark Days   from recent viewer, Nov 10, 2007

  • Post a comment on "Dark Days"