Streetwise (Martin Bell, 1984)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Streetwise.

criterion logoMartin Bell’s Academy Award-nominated documentary portrays the lives of several desperate teenagers on the streets of downtown Seattle.  Thrown too young into a seedy, grown-up world, these runaways and castaways survive … but just barely.  Rat, the dumpster diver.  Tiny, the teen prostitute.  Shellie, the baby-faced blonde.  DeWayne, the hustler.  All old beyond their years.  All underage survivors fighting for life and love in the alleys and abandoned buildings of Washington’s Emerald City.  Streetwise is a late classic in cinema verité that insightfully reveals a harsh place and time too easily ignored by those outside it.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, approved by director Martin Bell, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Erin, Bell’s 2003 short film combining footage of Erin “Tiny” Blackwell shot in 1983, 1991, and 2004
  • ABC report from 1993 revisiting Blackwell 10 years after Streetwise
  • New interview with Mary Ellen Mark with an accompanying gallery of her photography
  • New interview with Bell, Mark, and Blackwell
  • Interview with Megan Gibbard and Carrie Whitaker Henner of the King County Homeless Youth and Young Adult Initiative
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring Cheryl McCall and Mary Ellen Mark’s July 1983 Life magazine article and a new essay by writer-producer Veena Sud

Continue reading