New York City, NY

Movies About Homelessness

The Virtuous Vee

The nation’s economic crisis has deeply affected the lives of millions of Americans. Today, more New Yorkers are experiencing homelessness than ever before. In a city of more than 8.3 million people, nearly one in every 106 New Yorkers are homeless and that's nearly 80,000 men, women and children.

If you have ever wondered how homeless people make ends meet, the following movies might help.

Shelter (2014)

A homeless Nigerian immigrant (Anthony Mackie) and a junkie (Jennifer Connelly) band together for survival on the streets of New York. They fall in love with each other. Shelter explores how they got there, and as we learn about their pasts we realize they need each other to build a future. Shelter is a dramatic, but slow building film that will surely amaze you once it is all over.

Genre: Drama

Directed by: Paul Bettany

Running time: 105 minutes

The Public (2018)

After learning that emergency shelters are at full capacity in Cincinnati, homeless people take over the public library to seek shelter. The library patrons led by Jackson (Michael Kenneth Williams) refuse to leave the downtown public library at closing time. What begins as a nonviolent Occupy-style sit-in and ragtag act of civil disobedience quickly escalates into a standoff with local riot police, led by a no-nonsense crisis negotiator (Alec Baldwin) and a savvy district attorney (Christian Slater) with lofty political ambitions, all as two librarians (Emilio Estevez and Jena Malone) are caught in the middle. This movie is a realistic demonstration of humanity crisis and shows the real impact on people.

Genre: Drama

Directed by: Emilio Estevez

Running time: 122 minutes

Hector (2015)

This quietly affecting drama tells the story of Hector McAdam (Peter Mullan), warm-hearted, limping, homeless pensioner who has been living rough for 15 years. Every Christmas, Hector makes his way to a temporary hostel in London, where he is welcomed by a kindly employee named Sara (Sarah Solemani). But one year he decides to track down his brother and sister. As you might expect, Hector's cross-country odyssey is an arduous one, allowing us to witness some of the hardships that homeless people are faced with on a daily basis. His experiences are of both the kindness and lack of kindness of others. Crucially, though, the film isn't as bleak or depressing as you might expect. In fact, it is surprisingly warm and uplifting.

Genre: Drama

Directed by: Jake Gavin

Running time: 98 minutes


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