STREETWISE

Director Martin Bell
Year 1984
Starring Tiny, DeWayne, Rat, Lulu
Run Time 91min
More Info IMDb

Part of the series INVINCIBLE: FIVE TOUGH FILMS

STREETWISE begins with the idyllic image of a kid jumping off a bridge to go for a swim. "I love to fly," he says. "It's just, you're alone with peace and quiet, nothing around you but clear, blue sky. No one to hassle you. No one to tell you where to go or what to do. The only bad part about flying is having to come back down to the fucking world.”

This unflinching documentary about homeless teens living on the streets of Seattle ("America's Most Livable City") in the early 80's began as a photo-essay in Life magazine and reflects those roots by refusing to structure itself around an easy narrative or comment on the lives of the kids it follows. Escaping poverty, abuse or abandonment, they are forced to rely on panhandling, prostitution, petty crime and drugs just to get by. By sympathetically observing their impossibly hard lives, STREETWISE honors their daily battles and shares the pride these kids feel in simply surviving. This totally devestating film will sear itself into your memory forever.

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