American Vagabond, an opinionated review.

Sunday, the 23rd of March 2014 One World Romania Film Festival: American Vagabond.

I was so lucky to see this movie! I had seen the trailer a couple of months ago and had been waiting for it to be online to watch. I really wanted to see this movie about a young boy, who once his parents found out was gay ran away from/got kicked out of his parents’ house to go live on the streets of San Francisco with his boyfriend. It was only on Saturday that I realized this movie was playing at One World.

I had to see it.
And I was not disappointed.

Again, I do not know much about cinematography, but this movie touched me somewhere deep inside. It stuck with me and despite having been talking to many people who are homeless over the last week and quite a bit a few years ago, despite having read many stories, biographies, after having watched Children Underground, despite having seen people who are homeless on the street for my entire life, this movie shocked me. It’s quite different to read and hear from different sources that anyone can be put into a situation like this faster than you can think, but it was this boy’s, or should I say man’s (?), story that enraged me. It made me upset, it scared me, it pissed me off.

The only reason James had to go through all the hardships he went through and will probably have to face for the rest of his life was that he was gay. The only reason his parents no longer accepted him under their roof was because he loved another boy.

How, in today’s society, can something like this be a cause for homelessness? How can homosexuality be seen as something so horrible that you send your own child away to live a life of begging, stealing, poverty. Of hiding from the police, of scavenging for food and change.

Maybe it was the voiceovers with the scenes of where James and Tyler lived that made me cringe inside, maybe it was the story of these two individuals, and maybe it was because I have spent so much of my recent time with people so similar to them. I am not sure what it was exactly, but anyone who is interested in documentaries or homelessness should definitely watch this movie!

Something else that might have caused my closeness to this film is the fact that we were able to have a Q&A session with Susanna Helke [inert link to website] at the end of the film. It was amazing to see this woman in the flesh, and to hear her perspective on making the film. To hear that it took her four years to create this masterpiece, that it almost couldn’t have been finished because of certain situations James had gotten himself into…namely jail. It was great to hear about the hardships she saw and endured to make this movie. Truly inspiring.

If you are interested in these kinds of films, make sure to check out my new documentaries [insert link to tab] tab.

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