Yet another LGBT film from Broken Glass Pictures in Philadelphia. But there is really not a LGBT theme to this documentary. Instead it might be at moments like Seinfeld in that it seems to be a film about nothing yet at times a profound analysis of poverty in America. In this case it’s about Skid Row in Los Angeles.
Skid Row in L.A. is raunchy, violent and just about hopeless. Terri is a mentally disabled person that loves booze and weed and is subject to violent and aggressive outbursts. Tihana is an obese lady with a good heart and at the end of her rope with the unhinged Terri. They both love their weed as does Skid Row.
Apart from the predominately white police force that patrol it Skid Row in L.A. is African American. So much so the foul street language is subject to English subtitles.
At times the film seems inane with the nothing less and the hopelessness of Skid Row. Yet in art and play therapy we learn the horrific upbringing these Skid Row residents were subjected to. Atrocious sexual abuse, negligence and violence. Poverty and abuse begets its progeny. Actually while in this therapy we understand how these Skid Row victims are indeed victims of a horrible upbringing. So the film is transformed about nothing into something very deep and disturbing.
Even the white social worker admits “the system is broken and a racket you gotta face.” Inadequate medical care, lack of social housing, drug and alcohol and sexual abuse seem to continue themselves in Skid Row.
Finally it looks like Terri and Tihana get a break with a social housing voucher for housing. But Terri escalates into a violent booze fuelled rage and is arrested. Tihana awaits her release on parole and I get the sickening feeling we are back to square one.
Of course, be smug and say this is the United States but witness urban centres in Canada and I am sure you’ll get a similar story.
Who is looking out for the Terri’s and Tihana’s of Canada? Trudeau with his hollow references to the middle class? Jagmeet Singh in his Hugo Boss suits? Andrew Scheer with just about nothing?
Available on May 14th at iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu ,DVD as well, but retailers unknown at this time.
(“Game Girls”, USA 2018, Director Alina Skrzeszewska, 85 Minutes)
For the trailer if you can stand it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldHsuZyZnEw