EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LOST ANGELS: SKID ROW IS MY HOME (director: Thomas Q. Napper; screenwriter: Christine Triano; cinematographers: Christopher Gosch/Seamus McGarvey/Fortunato Procopio; editor: Tyler Hubby; music: Walter Werzowa; cast: Catherine Keener (Narrator), Lee Anne, O.G., Linda Harris, K.K., Bam Bam, Detroit, General Dogon, Danny Harris; Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Agi Orsi; Cinema Libre Studio; 2010)|
|"Takes us on an unglamorous but
eye-popping tour of LA's Skid Row."
by Dennis Schwartz
The English-born director Thomas Q.
Napper, the former second director on The Soloist,
takes us on an unglamorous but eye-popping tour of
LA's Skid Row, shooting for 24 weeks in late 2008
and early 2009, where he follows eight unusual
people who found a home there after their life fell
apart and provides a sympathetic look at their
misfortune for living in such a squalid and
dangerous crime-ridden community. It's narrated by Catherine Keener, who informs us Skid
Row covers a 50-block unmapped area in downtown LA and
that an estimated eleven thousand people reside there.
The pic takes a political proactive approach to
providing housing for the communities many
homeless--many who are mentally ill and drug addicted.
Skid Row is viewed as the last place to find refuge.
In today's world the valuable land of
Skid Row, highlighted by San Julian Street, is wanted
by developers for gentrification, and their land grabs
has increasingly forced the poor from a chance to
retain affordable housing. We're also informed that
since Reagan closed the doors of the mental hospitals
for treatment, the mentally ill have lived in the
street and the police have become empowered to arrest
the homeless as criminals. The pic shows that despite
the city's indifference to the citizens of Skid Row,
there are advocates who do good work protecting the
rights of the homeless. The shelter called the
Midnight Mission, started in 1914 to shelter and feed
the alcoholics, now deals mostly with younger
crackheads and druggies who can enter their facility
only if they pledge to get off drugs. Recently the
Lamp Community opened its doors in a new building to
provide food and shelter for the homeless, without any
It's a humanistic pic that shows
there's hope for even the most downtrodden if they
desire it, and that's in a large part because there
are advocates taking up the fight of the
disenfranchised to stop their evictions and protect
their civil rights.
REVIEWED ON 3/23/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ