Dark Days: Marc Singer’s Docu of Homeless

Shot in black-and-white, Marc Singer’s stylized documentary Dark Days attaches human faces to the homeless people living beneath the streets, in the bowels of dark train tunnels.

The film won three awards at this year’s Sundance Film Fest, as well as Best Non-Fiction film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

The narrative follows the daily routines of half a dozen men and women who live alongside the underground Amtrak rail lines between 72nd and 125th Street on Manhattan’s West Side. Some of the homeless have spent there more than two decades, using for beds plywood and sometimes laid down carpet, and electrical current water from city pipes.

Singer lived among the filth, rats, and the pitch darkness of the tunnels on and off for three months before shooting began. He says his motivation for making the documentary was “to get the homeless out of the tunnel, and also to show that these people are human.”

Singer promised to use the film’s profits for that goal. He shot in black and white “to avoid messing up.” Some of his crewmembers were people from the underground, who have a share in the film’s profits.

When Amtrak found out about these people, they sent in armed police to kick them out, and Singer helped them find apartments. After the docu was made, he continued to keep in touch with them, and he’s proud to report that they all have jobs now.

Singer moved to Florida from England and spent one year in high school before quitting formal education. A handsome man, he did assorted beach jobs and some modeling before turning his attention to filmmaking.