Dark Days

Today is my ninth sobriety anniversary.  Rather than write some dramatic celebratory entry (a quick perusal of the Notes reveals surprisingly that I haven’t done this for a few years, but it was a big tradition for me back on the MySpace blog, so it feels like I still do it every year), I thought I’d share with you a little bit of my own private tradition.  I have two basic traditions on the anniversary:  1: eat a meal with my dad at the Carlisle restaurant The Hamilton, which, unfortunately, is postponed while I’m living in Erie, 2: I watch the documentary “Dark Days“.

“Dark Days” is a documentary by filmmaker Marc Singer.  Singer has only made this one film, but it’s impact is so grand, he’s still a rather sizeable celebrity to those of us who follow the genre.  The film follows a group of homeless addicts who live in abandoned subway tunnels underneath New York City.

Now, granted, I am an alcoholic from suburban Pennsylvania who, essentially, got scared straight when I almost had to spend one night in a homeless shelter, but the people in this movie, and the life it shows, have always seemed eerily close to my heart; you can argue that I have been nowhere near these people, but I know different:  I am these people, even now.  I narrowly escaped it and watching things like “Dark Days” is what I need to do to remind myself, whether it is ten years sober or 30, that I have been at and over the same precipice, and that every day is a miraculous blessing.

I implore you to explore the clips of the film I’ve embedded below.  Not only is it an amazing story that is prime viewing for folks in recovery, it is a masterwork of the documentary form.  One must consider what Singer had to go through to make his film (after spending tons of time becoming part of the underground community and convincing them to let him film them, he then actually trained many of them to operate the filming equipment with him.  A major hurdle was, of course, getting the stuff down there.  Once the movie made a profit, Marc successfully used the money to get most of the addicts out of the ground and on to their feet.  Some of them are successfully sober mini-celebrities, to this day).

The first clip is the first ten minutes of the film.  To me, just an absolute film-making marvel.  I’ve included some random clips after that.  If there’s a list of things that “keep my life saved”, then “Dark Days” is definitely on it.

6 Responses to “Dark Days”

  1. sayvandalay Says:

    I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE. One of my all-time faves, and I only watched it b/c of your recommendation. Thumbs up, way up.

  2. Now I must check out the whole thing. When will you be getting to the Hamilton?

    • sethdellinger Says:

      dude. Do you Netflix? Like…with actual discs and all that? If so, queue it now! It’s not available on instant, unfortunately.

      I probably won’t get home again until mid or late summer.

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