Wednesday, February 15, 2023

House Band (2023) Santa Barbara International Film Festival (2023)

 THE HOUSE BAND of the title are a bunch of guys living on the street in Venice California. They come together to play music outside one of The Waterfront one of the boardwalks swankier  eateries. Things are forced to change when the city decides that they want to do something about homeless people and they force people from their camp sites.

One of the best films I’ve seen on the homeless problem, HOUSE BAND really makes you ponder what officials think they are doing. While it’s true none of the guys want to be homeless, its clear that the city doesn’t know what to do to help them. All they know is that they have to go and they clear them to make pretty sight lines for the super wealthy.

The film scores a huge amount of points by letting us really get to know the guys and the people they interact with. Yes other films have brought us into the lives of homeless people, but there was always a distance. There no distance here we are in the middle of everything and we feel  part of the community. More importantly because we get to know a lot of people we have a stake in what is happening. We not only want the guys in the band to be okay, we appreciate the people who reach out a hand to actually help them (the owner of The Waterfront for example)

This film kicked my ass, not because it told me anything I didn’t know or suspected before, but rather it was the first time where the whole question of how to help people without homes truly stopped be abstract or at arms’ length. This is the tale of people who are friends so want a solution.

I don’t know what to say.

One of the best films at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival and a film I will still be thinking about at the end of the year

See it and open your eyes.

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