One of my most anticipated films at this year’s Hot Docs is The Homestretch, directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly (Asparagus! Stalking the American Life) and produced by Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams; The Interrupters; As Goes Janesville). So I’m happy to premiere both the poster and trailer for the documentary, which debuts at the fest tomorrow afternoon.
Like many of Kartemquin’s releases, this one is set in Chicago, and like their most famous film, Hoop Dreams, it concerns the future of some of the city’s underprivileged teenagers. De Mare and Kelly follow three high school students who are homeless, at least one of the having been abandoned by her family for being gay. It sounds heartwrenching, especially because it’s set in part during the winter. And going by the trailer’s mention of national estimates seems to be a focused portrait that is also representative of a much bigger issue in America.
As much as I’m interested in seeing the trio of main subjects coping with their situation and working on changing that situation for a better future, some of the other characters have caught my curiosity in the trailer. The people who try to help all these homeless youths and are only able to do so much, they have a difficult and complicated position — and I bet for some it’s even harder once the kids graduate and are even more beyond their means of assistance.
The emotional homeless education liaison has already in turn got me feeling emotional about the whole thing. See her and the rest of the trailer below.