The Doc Media Centre screened the film ‘Street Blues‘ which follows Alex, a homeless person, in his struggle through a miserable existence on the streets of Germany. He became homeless after a failed relationship, sleeping on benches and otherwise. At one point he had absolutely nothing after he lost his last pennies.
He felt completely helpless and alone and had to go to a hospital because his socks had literally grown into his feet and had to be surgically removed. So bad things had become.
Eventually he found a job and pulled himself out of his miserable existence. It turnes out that Alex is quite intellectual writing poetry and a regular blog detailing his experience on the street. It is a healing process for him but he wants to have his work published too. The walls of his flat are covered with manuscript pages.
This film certainly lifts one out of any stereotypes regarding homeless people because Alex doesn’t fit in any category and the viewer realises that behind any homeless person on the street there is an unique and individual story to be told. What makes this film even more remarkable is that it takes place in Germany, the richest country in Europe and a country one doesn’t easily associate with homelessness.
Here are some more details about the film from the Vimeo website:
It’s in the fall of 2012 that documentary filmmaker Nik and a homeless man named Alex meet for the first time. Shortly before five in the morning, they set out from the railway mission in the Berlin Zoo station on a brief nighttime trip. After sharing breakfast, they each goes their separate ways – not to meet again until two and a half years later, when they are brought back together thanks to a tip from someone at a film festival…
Ten years on the streets have changed Alex. He’s no longer the person he once was, having endured the cold and isolation of homelessness. Often he hasn’t slept for nights on end, landing up in police stations or hospitals. Why didn’t he turn to his family at some point during his ten years of homelessness? How did he manage to get by day in and day out without money or friends? And above all: How did he end up out on the street in the first place?
In early 2015 Nik meets Alex for the second time. Now no longer homeless, Alex is living in a subsidized apartment, trying to find his way back into the same society that had so often ignored him over the years. Alex is now 54 years old, with a second chance in life…
Alex is just one of the roughly 17,000 houseless people in Berlin and there are approximately 280,000 in Germany. This documentary aims to show what the homeless value most: acknowledgement.
Documentary filmmaker Nikolas Migut treats Alex with sensitivity while patiently observing and talking with him. He tries to build trust – such as in his short documentary ‘Alex – Incomplete Faith’ (2013) – and to ask the questions he consciously avoided asking the first time they met. He invites the audience to see homelessness the way the homeless themselves see it. Nikolas Migut affords Alex a stage, giving him back the thing he’d lost: his own voice.
Directing / Script / Camera / Sound / Editing / Produced: Nikolas Migut
‘Street Blues’ is a sequel to ‘Alex – Incomplete Faith’ (2013)
- British Documentary Film Festival (UK / 2015) // Award: “The Life Changing Award”
- New York City Independent Film Festival (USA / 2015) // nominated
- European Film Festival (Germany & European cities / 2015) // nominated
Uploaded (Vimeo) on 23 Oct 2015