Lead Me Home (2021)
In the last five years, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have declared a state of emergency regarding homelessness. In Oakland, homelessness doubled in just four years. This 41-minute Netflix Documentary is a powerful and impressionistic introduction to this complicated crisis; it was filmed from 2017 to 2020. There's no narration, although the film does follow the lives of about ten people who are homeless. In short takes they explain how and why they became homeless, and describe what life is like for them. For many it's simply the horrible choice between paying your rent or buying food for your kids. Some of these people live in single tents on the sidewalks, some in huge encampments, and others in their cars. Violence is endemic. One woman holds down a full time job but then sleeps in a big dorm that houses 160 women on cots. Yet another takes her kids to the grocery story every morning to bathe them in the bathroom and get them something to eat, and then takes her pre-schooler to the library "where it is warm and they can play videos." What do the homeless need? I like how one person put it: "We need the same things that everyone else needs, nothing different."
Dan Clendenin: firstname.lastname@example.org