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Course Project: Dark Days’ Research

Dark days is an American documentary film produced and directed by Marc Singer in 2000. by Fraiman, it is based on a group of people who lived in the freedom tunnel section of New York City. When the marc singer arrived in Manhattan, he was surprised by seeing some people living in the street. He also discovered that some people were living under the tunnel because they were homeless. He decided to meet these people living in the tunnel, and he became a close friend to them. He later decided to join them and became a member of the tunnel community. After living in the tunnel for some months, he decided to create a documentary. He believed his idea would generate money for them, although he had never created a documentary before. Marc believed that the tunnel community would get money from his ideas and move to better housing.

Time frame

Dark days film was released in the year 2000. It mainly outlined the difficulties people faced in the abandoned tunnel in New York City. The production was faced with challenges and took years to be produced. Financial and lack of equipment for production made it difficult for the film to be released. Marc singer also insisted on creative control to protect the interests of the tunnel community. Later, the film was produced and won three awards during the 2000 Sundance film festival.

Political issues

  • After Marc singer successfully produced the film, it reached many viewers and the authorities at large. Amtrak company announced that they would support the ideas of the mark by evicting people in the tunnels to reroute their trains via the tunnel. By Heumann, The police also backed the decision and encouraged Singer and his counterpart Margaret Morton to seek help from the homeless coalition. Finally, they could secure housing vouchers from the housing and urban development department. It enabled the tunnel community to secure apartments and move out of the tunnel.

Social issues

  • The tunnel community was homeless people who could not afford a better home and faced many challenges while living in the tunnel before marc came and identified the challenges.
  • The rail tunnels offered shelter for them, and they were comfortable. Although there were social challenges, the tunnel community could acquire food, light, and water; others have used some equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, and TV Sets.
  • Fire outbreak in the tunnels is also evident since they build their homes very close. For instance, Dee, who went to jail, saw her children in the news after being burned in a fire outbreak.
  • Social crimes and drug abuse are also witnessed in the film, whereby young people are mostly influenced in getting into drugs, and it becomes difficult for them to do away with them. Rape in young women and children exists in the tunnels. For instance: Ralphs’s daughter was raped while serving a jail sentence.
  • Unemployment is also evident in the film since most people are involved in drugs and are uneducated. Therefore, they live every day hoping to overcome poverty and move out of the tunnels.
  • The dignity and resilience of the tunnel community are highly appreciated in the film. Marc is committed to seeing that their rights are known to the public and that they are people who are willing and able to develop their country irrespective of their living conditions.

Economic issues

  • Marc faced many challenges when coming up with the dark day’s documentary. He had no money to buy the film equipment and therefore he had to raise that money which was difficult for him. Cinevision, a camera shop in New York, opted to support marc and supplied him with cameras for two years of filming. Later, the marc singer ran out of money, and Kodak film assisted him with damaged films usable for production.
  • Many people living in tunnels keep cats as pets to fight the rats, which are very rampant in the tunnels. Others use traps to catch the rats. It is evident that due to poor house construction, there is a lot of cold and rains destroy their properties.
  • The government is reluctant to establish modern houses for the tunnel community. Therefore, the materials they use the ready materials to build their houses. For instance, they use scrap metals and plastics.

Historical evidence

Dark days portrays the research’s historical evidence and remains an astonishing achievement in modern-day New York. In 2011 singer decided to visit the tunnel where people evacuated and found that all the tunnel dwellers had been moved out to better houses. The tunnels were well decorated with actual paintings and amazing art. It looked amazing since nobody lived there. Singer recalls how he met the place, which is different from what he saw.

Work cited

Fraiman, Susan. Extreme Domesticity. Columbia University Press, 2017.

Heumann, Joseph, and Robin L. Murray. “Dark Days: A narrative of environmental adaptation.” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 48 (2006).


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