• Review: yHomeless? (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Tue Aug 2 12:58:10 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: Glen Dunzweiler directs and compiles this
    documentary. Nearly homeless himself he travels to
    thirteen major cities to interview the homeless, find
    how they live, and find what choices they do and do
    not have. And generally he gets an appreciation of
    the extent of the homeless problem and what it is
    doing to people. Most viewers will already be aware
    of the problem of homelessness and many issues
    involved, but the degree of the problem is stunning.
    Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

    I have been told that in the Stalinist days in the Soviet Union the
    Soviets suggested a film exchange with the United States. We would
    choose Soviet films to show in our country and they had chosen US
    films to show in the USSR. All the films that they chose were
    films of protest showing how bad conditions were for some in the
    United States. First up would be John Ford's THE GRAPES OF WRATH.
    In it the Joad family from Oklahoma during the Great Depression
    lost their home to the bank and had to pile into their car and
    drive to California looking for work and a place they could stop.
    The film was to be put on tour. The first showing the Soviet
    audience was stunned by what they were seeing. "You mean that in
    the US even *poor* people have cars?" The film tour was cancelled.
    Yes, in America your house can be foreclosed on and you may still
    have your car. Glen Dunzweiler's home was nearly foreclosed on,
    but poor as he was he still had his car and he used that as a
    springboard to make this documentary.

    Had Dunzweiler lost his home he would have been turned out on the
    street, literally homeless. He decides to visit thirteen major US
    cities make a documentary about the life of the homeless who
    actually are out on the streets. He will sleep in his car or if
    invited on the couches of people he meets. He will have a minimum
    of money for food. The film will document the condition of the
    homeless he meets. He finds what it is like to sleep outdoors,
    frequently not even under cover. There are places where there is
    no sanitary plumbing. He lives the life of the homeless and
    interviews people who do.

    Dunzweiler looks at aspects of homelessness like finding shelter;
    how cities are spending to help the homeless--not always in the
    most effective manner; how did people come to live on the streets;
    what is life on the street like; what happens when the young or
    whole families are put out on the street, how are homeless military
    veterans treated (1 in 4 homeless adults is a veteran while
    veterans are only 1 in 9 in the population), how much crime is
    there with homeless victims. Some may be living on the street only
    temporarily (e.g. waiting for veterans benefits to kick in) and
    others will never escape. A Catch-22 bites some: they cannot get a
    job without an address; they cannot get an address without a job.
    Dunzweiler interviews 50 homeless people and 25 advocates for the

    Dunzweiler finds relevancy not just for the currently homeless, but
    a little bit of money is all that is between any of us and the life
    on the street. Many people do not own a home and some do but their
    income is based on one job. Lose that job and they perhaps cannot
    get another. They may be one paycheck away from homelessness.
    Some of the people living on the street have been poor all their
    lives and some may have been fired from well-paying careers.
    Dunzweiler points out fallacies about the homeless. He started out
    assuming that most of the homeless are "addicted to drugs or
    mentally ill." For many homelessness is just a lifestyle they have
    been forced to adopt and a small fringe actually likes the homeless
    style of living.

    yHOMELESS? gives a reasonably thorough examination of the problems
    of the homeless and a feeling for their circumstances. I rate
    yHOMELESS? a low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. yHOMELESS? is
    available on DVD and on VOD. (I saw no explanation for the lower
    case "y" or the question mark in the title.)

    Film Credits:
    <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1995512/ combined>

    What others are saying:
    <https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ yhomeless/?search=yhomeless>

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)