Lost Angels trailer (2010)
If you live in LA you've no doubt driven or walked past the city's thousands of homeless people, especially if you pass through the downtown area known as Skid Row, where an estimated 11,000 homeless men and women dwell. But unless you've stopped and taken time to talk to these unfortunate individuals who call the streets home, you may not be able to humanize these men and women and their stories.
The Thomas Napper directed film Lost Angels, which premiered in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival, screens for free tomorrow evening as part of the Downtown Film Festival. The film can help give a better understanding of LA's homeless. With narration by Catherine Keener, Lost Angels puts a human face on these so readily dismissed individuals that inhabit the Skid Row area. The excellent documentary's subjects (as seen in the trailer above) include a former Olympic runner, a transgendered punk rocker, and an eccentric animal lover and her devoted companion. It respectfully tells their individual stories of what led them to this point in their lives.
Tomorrow's Downtown Film Festival free screening of this documentary, which takes place at Gladys Park on a big 50 foot outdoor screen, is special because it is being screened in the heart of Skid Row, where the film was shot and where many of its subjects live. Los Angeles community activist General Jeff, whose last name is Page and who I met recently at Amoeba Hollywood during the KRS-ONE lecture, is a key person behind this unique screening of Lost Angels. Being on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and a resident director with Central City East/ Skid Row, Jeff works closely with LA's homeless and has firsthand insights into their plight. I caught up with the man to ask him about Lost Angels and its importance.