Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, April 10:
Los Angeles 2017
Big Sky Doc, Napa Valley, Hot Springs Doc, Calgary
A man attempts to use music to battle a lifelong crack addiction and homelessness.
Vallot’s film focuses on Ronald Troy Collins, who spends his days on the streets of LA’s Skid Row asking people for money in exchange for a song – money he’ll use for a simple meal or his next hit of crack, which he’s been using since the age of 13. He gets by with the help of an extended network of people he’s befriended over time, including a store owner and young journalists and musicians who have taken an interest in Collins’ talent. They also play a role in supporting Collins as he tries and fails and tries again to get clean, and eventually channels his energy into developing his music. While Vallot manages to keep the focus rightly in Collins and less on his supporters, thereby avoiding a potential white savior narrative that could easily develop, given that he is African American and they are white, the technically rough film feels overlong, too often including indulgent and unnecessary scenes of Collins just riffing on nothing in particular. Still, it’s a heartfelt and unusually upbeat project that succeeds in putting a honest spotlight on the issue of homelessness.