Streetwise (1984)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):    BBBB.5

USA, 1984.  Bear Creek.  Based on the story Streets of the Lost by .   Cinematography by Martin Bell.   Produced by Cheryl McCall.  Film Editing by , .  

Heartbreaking documentary that follows the lives of various kids living on the streets of Seattle.  Drugs, prostitution and crime are the everyday norms of these surprisingly camera-ready, charismatic youths, who are sadly aged way beyond their years by their experiences. Director Martin Bell somehow gets deep into their lives and captures both rough and tender moments with a surprising level of intimacy, making it no wonder that the film has often been accused of being staged and scripted in the years since its release (though all evidence seems to point to its actually being real). One of its main protagonists, , and his relationship with his adoptive street father later provided the basis for Bell’s fictional film American Heart with Jeff Bridges.

The Criterion Collection:  #1079

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature

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