“WITHOUT A HOME”— Understanding Homelessness

“Without a Home”

Understanding Homelessness

Amos Lassen

Director Rachel Fleischer made this film as a way of helping her understand homelessness in Los Angeles where she was raised. It was a four year adventure and it took her into the lives of several homeless people as they went through the struggles of everyday life including just survival, staying clean and finding a home. She started filming the homeless in 2003 and four years later she had a documentary film. Most of us know nothing about the homeless and I would even say that we do not want to know. Fleischer made some decisions before she began filming—no crew and no protection. She approached people without the camera, she decided not to ever shoot at night and she would always stay in an area that was populated so that she could be seen. She hit the streets with a video camera and began to look for the homeless.

She met Joby who became her friend and even though he was both drunk and high, he took her to a place near 134 Freeway and to a homemade (or is that homelessmade) tent. This was what Joby called home. The interviews that she was able are compelling and she discovered that hope was on the mind of the people that she spoke with. These people are the true other half (“of the expression of how the other half lives”). Soon she was a friend to the homeless and she witnessed that they were asking for help.  She could not say no and she was soon visiting them whenever she could and as she did she learned a great deal and we see that in her film. The good deeds that she did—from making phone calls to driving them places—filled her with compassion. This was especially true when she found the humanity of the homeless.

I personally feel that this is a very important film especially with the economy as it is now. We need to become aware of those less fortunate and we have to know how to react to them. Have a look here—it will certainly give you a new way to look at the homeless.

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