Hot Docs 2015: Lowdown Tracks

Lowdown_Tracks Homeless buskers in Toronto are profiled in Lowdown Tracks.  All across Toronto are “home free” individuals, who struggle to make a living by playing on street corners and subway platforms.  Many of these homeless individuals have troubled pasts and use music as an escape from their troubles.  Filmmaker Shelley Saywell and singer and activist Lorraine Segato follows five of these buskers and sets out to bring their music to the masses. There are many different reasons why people end up living on the streets.  Either they simply can’t afford proper accommodations or life has dealt them a bad hand.  Even if these individuals do find a roof to live under, it can’t really be considered to be a “home.”  These individuals are often looked down upon by society as a whole, even though they often have a very good reason for being on the street.  To help escape how terrible these individuals’ lives have become, they express themselves by music.  The goal of Lorraine Segato is to record the music of these individuals and make sure that their voice is heard. Lowdown Tracks is a film that highlights these talented musicians, who just happen to be in a poor economic situation.  It is practically impossible to make a living solely from busking and there are also very few reliable support options for the homeless.  With cities forcing the homeless out of public areas and shelters being less than ideal, there is no place for these homeless individuals to go.  While ultimately the film is about bringing the music of these individuals to the masses, including a series of recording sessions towards the end, Lowtown Tracks also works to destigmatize the homeless and show them as humans too.  ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 |  REALLY LIKED IT Screenings:

  • Sat, Apr 25, 8:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
  • Mon, Apr 27, 6:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 3
  • Sat, May 2, 6:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 8
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).