DARK DAYS, a groundbreaking documentary from British director Marc Singer with a moving soundtrack from DJ Shadow, shows a way of life that is unimaginable to most people. The film focuses on a group of homeless people that live deep underground in an abandoned New York City railroad tunnel. During the daytime they scavenge for food on the streets of New York. At night, they retreat to the tunnel where they have built homes out of scrap metal, plastic, and plywood. They have electricity, furniture, and working kitchens, not to mention community, comradery, and the support of each other. Some of them have lived in the tunnel for 25 years.
Shot in vivid black and white, capturing both the grit (chicken wire, concrete walls, all precisely detailed) and the honesty (the residents have hit rock bottom and admit it) of the tunnel, Singer's film consists of candid conversations with tunnel residents, who are intelligent, funny, optimistic, and above all, human. One man confesses that he once had a wife and a child, and that he lost both to his drug addiction (crack cocaine), while one teenage boy living in the tunnel explains that he was abused by his family in Florida and simply ran away, finding life in the tunnel more redeeming. In the film's emotional, understated conclusion, Singer turns to New York City's Coalition for the Homeless for help.