Dark DaysDVD - 2000
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"If you don't consider yourself homeless here, then you ain't ready to cope with this then, if you don't consider you homeless." --Henry to Tommy
"When you get ready to stop something you gonna stop it on your own...By you keep saying to me stop smoking crack, it only makes me want to go out and smoke more." --Dee to Ralph
"Anybody can walk by while you're sleeping on a bench and bust you in the head. At least down in the tunnel you ain't got to worry about that, because nobody in their right mind is gonna come down there...they gonna be too scared." --Greg
"Usually Fridays if I work all day I'll make seventy dollars, sixty or seventy bucks. Have enough to play around a little bit, you know what I'm sayin'?... It gets me through the weekend. I usually take Saturday and Sunday off to chill ya know? I've always done that." --Tommy
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Dark Days follows the story of a group of people living in underground tunnels in New York. The underground Amtrack rails split off in two directions near Penn station. One set of rails were abandoned and taken out of use, it is in that tunnel that some of the city’s homeless began to migrate and built shelters to live. The film is presented as a series of interviews, conversations and moments from the lives of the denizens of the tunnel. A young man, Tommy, hits the street collecting recycling on a regular basis and earns money to live on and feed his many dogs. Ralph is an ex crack head who lost everything and is trying to get his life back together and possibly use the shelter of the tunnel as a springboard back into society. Greg goes through trash and finds reusable items like Cds and appliances to make a living. Julio is an affable eccentric who has a makeshift security system for his dwelling that approaches a Goldberg device. Dee is the only woman featured in great detail. She tells her tales of woe while still in the throes of her addictions which landed her in the current predicament. Ronnie has maintained a swagger and repartee that belie his domestic situation and the fact that his sweet ride is a shopping cart filled with discarded items from up above. First time director Marc Singer follows the day to day efforts of these people to survive and provide companionship and often amusement for each other. Toward the end of the film, Amtrack officials arrive and serve the inhabitants eviction notices to vacate in 30 days. Working with the Homeless Coalition, Amtrack and others, the tunnel folk start new lives and can be seen relishing mundane experiences like cooking in a kitchen and making a bed. Follow ups are presented at the end of the film.
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