Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on February 18, 2009
First 10 Minutes of the film
I have decided to start looking at what might happen to the millions of people living on the economic edge. Those people living meager pay check to pay check. What will happen to them as even the low paying jobs begin to evaporate?
Here is a film which was made in the 2000, which features a community of homeless people living in the tunnel systems of New York City. A glimpse of life on the edge. The official Dark Days Website: palmpictures.com | Full film on youtube
Dark Days is a documentary made by Marc Singer, a British filmmaker. The film follows a group of people living in an abandoned section of the New York City underground railway system, more precisely the area of the so called Freedom Tunnel. When he relocated from London to Manhattan, Marc Singer was struck by the number of homeless people he had seen throughout the city. Singer had befriended a good number of New York’s homeless and later, after hearing of people living underground in abandoned tunnel systems, he met and became close to a group of people living in The Freedom Tunnel community stretching north from Penn Station past Harlem.
Interview Marc Singer, The Director
After living with them for a number of months, he decided to create a documentary in order to help them financially. The film’s crew consisted of the subjects themselves, who rigged up makeshift lighting and steadicam dollies, and learned to use a 16mm camera with black & white Kodak film. Singer himself had never been a filmmaker before, and saw the production of Dark Days as a means of gaining better accommodation for the residents of the tunnel. The post-production process took years, as financial difficulties created delays, as did Singer’s insistence of creative control to protect the tunnel residents.
During filming, Amtrak announced they would be forcibly evicting the homeless living in the tunnels. This announcement, plus the police presence backing the decision, prompted Singer and photographer Margaret Morton to go to the Coalition for the Homeless for help. Eventually, Singer and Morton managed to secure housing vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the film’s subjects, which enabled them to move out of the tunnels and into their own apartments.