“Mysterious Prison, docu-drama, looks at homelessness in DC through the stories of six characters”

Dear PoPville,

I thought you might be interested in our film Mysterious Prison, which is a docu-drama that looks at homelessness in DC through the stories of six characters. Below is a link to the official trailer. The film has had a couple screenings at the E Street Cinema and the new Angelika Film Center Mosaic in Fairfax, VA. We are planning more local screenings in collaboration with non-profits and organizations that deal with homelessness. We also are taking the film to festivals around the country. If you or your readers are interested in the film they can check out the film’s Facebook page.

20 Comment

  • Looks like they took the “drama” part of docu-drama a little too far. Would much rather see an actual documentary without all of the staged dramatic garbage.

  • You clearly have it all figured out.

  • The opening scene looks like the guy from 40 year old version. Does seem a little too dramatic…would have preferred documentary. I am still holding out for the ATV Gangs documentary of B’more….that is gonna be Tiiiiiiiight!

  • None of those people are actually homeless, right?

    So whats the documentary? It seems more like speculative fiction.

  • Homeless children need to accept personal responsibility for being born.

    • Yes, once your born you do have to take responsibility for your life. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help or understand a particular situation but ultimiately, it is your responsibility.

  • saf

    Oh yeah, because everybody’s story is the same.

    • You clearly have it all figured out.

    • saf

      A common thread. Not the only one. Mental illness is right up there too.

    • I did read the article, and it actually cites several other issues, such as job loss, rising housing prices, and loss of income resulting from caregiving for a family member who experienced a debilitating medical episode (not to mention what was implicit in the article: abandonment by male partners/fathers of children, or job loss that leaves even well-intentioned fathers unable to meet their child support obligations). We all make bad choices, some people worse than others. But also, sh*t happens sometimes. Every time these types of issues come up, I just love the subset of PoP commenters who are SO sure that THEY’RE far too smart/savvy/educated/hard-working/”responsible”/whatever to ever fall into a desperate situation. Long-term job loss, mental illness, a bad divorce, a sudden medical crisis…believe me, it can happen easier than you think.

  • Wow, that may be just about the worst acting I have ever seen.

  • I hate to say it, but I agree with several of the comments above. A documentary about homelessness would be much more compelling than a bunch of over-dramatic amateur actors pretending to be homeless. Personally, I would have no interest in watching this.

  • Perhaps the trailer doesn’t fully explain the structure of the film. There are scripted scenes with actors, some of whom are professional, some of whom are amateur. There are also scenes, in which the actors are portraying their characters in conversation with homeless people in DC. Sometime these men and women were simply appearing as themselves talking with an actor. Other times, if they agreed to appear as an actor, they were given direction.

    The term “docu-drama” was used to demonstrate some elements of reality in the story. The film does not attempt to be or label itself as a pure documentary. We hope it helps increase the dialogue about homelessness in DC and give an audience a story with characters and settings they otherwise wouldn’t experience.

    -Tyler, the film’s producer.

  • Seems compelling! Some of the comments here, on the other hand, are downright silly.

  • Despite the fantastical hopes of certain modern Darwinian theorists:

    “…If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is…life, uh… finds a way”

    Dr. Ian Malcolm (AKA Jeff Goldblum)

  • I’m sure everyone believes your intentions are good, and we all do actually care about homeless people but the trailer really does not entice me to want to see any more of your film. But that’s the good thing about posting on a blog asking for critiques! You save yourself expense and embarrassment.

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