This documentary tells the heartbreaking story of an Indianapolis homeless tent community, and family, being torn apart. This film does a great job of showing that there are many paths to homelessness, and of how hard it can be to get out of. The relationships of the homeless missions, city officials, and news organizations are accurately detailed in an eye opening way. Watch this movie if only to get a glimpse into homeless life in Indianapolis, the truth beyond what the news portrays.
While watching we learn stories of homeless people being affected, of people trying to make a positive difference in the homeless community, and of people that are really the problem. The raw emotions of the advocates, the caring of the volunteers that deliver food, and unconditional love shown by Maurice, the 'camp coordinator', are inspirationally documented, reminding us that we do not have to have a lot to do something good.
Thank you to everyone that made this film possible and hopefully opening eyes to short-sighted people of the real problems. In 2013 I was one of those short-sighted people sitting in my suburban home, rooting on the city officials as I watched the news coverage of this camp being destroyed. Thankfully I met some amazing previously homeless people that help to clear my vision and I am forever grateful. I will be recommending this movie to everyone I know!
Read between the lines and it's fairly obvious-- money and profit are the bottom line when it comes to representation in government, big or small. The city officials and media kept repeating lines about "business interests". The same "business interests" that line their campaign coffers, and who have vested interests in local news stations, no doubt. My local area is rife with gentrification, people being evicted from their cheap housing within "neighborhood improvement zones" to make room for condos no one seems to be able to afford anyway, or multi million dollar casinos. While that's not the same as having your meager possessions dumped in the trash, the parallels are still there. "You're too poor to have a voice or choices! Make room for your betters!" What happened to these people in their tent city could easily happen to the rest of us, provided that those who want us gone are wealthy and well-connected enough. These homeless people are us, as many of us are only a paycheck or two away from being homeless. I wonder how much the Wheeler Mission gets in donations and grants while they turn unmarried pregnant women away! Let me guess, their organization claims to be "pro-life" no doubt. Would they have turned the Virgin Mary away? Would they have demanded her marriage certificate? Religious institutions like that make a case for taxing the churches. I cringe at the idea of religious institutions being the primary providers for shelter and assistance. The smaller church groups provided useful assistance, but one gets the feeling that the volunteers themselves have been touched by poverty. Many of the larger evangelical US churches (mega-churches) make a habit of pushing authoritarianism, submission to authority, rigid gender roles, self-hatred, and magical thinking-- all of which are not helpful for someone who is indigent, jobless, mentally ill, has a history of incarceration, addicted to drugs, and has been abused or neglected his or her whole life. It's like piling shame on top of people who already feel ashamed. Sounds as helpful as busting one in the kneecaps. These mega-churches are businesses unto themselves, driven to increase profits and push their political agendas on everyone else. Their underlying belief is wealth = godliness, poverty = sinful, therefor they have no business in any kind of social work.
I liked this film and the story it revealed. I especially like the use of the camera dollies(?) and aerials used to move in on the encampment of the homeless and to contrast that with the landscape/skyscape of the city of Indianapolis. It is indeed a heartbreaking story, even though it is not a new story. The filmmakers offer us some good guys and some bad guys, though there are no real villains. There are just folks who don;t do enough or don;t understand or care enough or who are move invested in their jobs than in solutions. I found the music interesting and compelling but the voice over narration at times left me feeling "talked at." I preferred when the participants were telling their own story. They were all fascinating, especially Maurice, the most committed and the most enlightened of them all.
"Under the Bridge" is a brilliant movie that should be required viewing in all high schools, at all city council meetings and for all people who care about human beings. I love our country and I want us, as a nation, to take care of all of our people and this movie shows the need for change in the way we deal with homelessness. To Don Sawyer, thanks for sharing your insight, wisdom and courage in making this movie. Thanks for sharing your musical talent, too. The music at the end of the movie brought me to tears because it so beautifully represented the movie's theme. Amy Baker
Thank goodness for these filmmakers showing you a side of how you become homeless and the struggles of those on the street in Indianappolis. Its eye opening documentaries like these the cold hearted people of the world need to see.. The old axiom.. "walk a mile in my shoes" works well here.. If you enjoy thought provoking documentaries that show you life on the fringes - and make you thankful for the people that help them - you'll enjoy the soul enriching work from the filmmakers here. Good photography and great editing! 4 starts
Homelessness is a heartbreaking epidemic in America. Shelters are helpful, but aren't a good fit for everyone. Turning those who make a different choice into criminals helps no one. We need to work with the homeless community to find solutions that will.