Made in the late-1990s as a collaborative project between London-born documentary maker Marc Singer and homeless men and women in New York City, ‘Dark Days’ was a critical smash and a political cause célèbre upon its release in 2000. The intervening years have not dulled its stark monochrome beauty or raw, heartbreaking power. The setting is the tunnels of the New York subway system, where for decades those fleeing abuse, violence and the law have – quite literally – made a home for themselves. A network of shacks, huts and canvas tents, piled with garbage and overrun with vermin, the so-called ‘Freedom Tunnel’ is preferable, for many, to life on the freezing streets. Singer’s film – shot on beautifully grainy, old fashioned 16mm black-and-white stock, often by the ‘mole people’ themselves – is at once an investigation, a polemic and, in its final sequences, a tribute to human endurance. A remarkable film, and an unmissable rediscovery.
Cast and crew