What do you want viewers to take away from this film?
I think a lot of us have the perception that homeless people are criminals or drunks or drug addicts and therefore justifiably in their position and more easily able to be ignored. Hopefully this film humanizes them to some degree.
What was your experience like filming these people—did you live with them to make it a more hands on experience?
The experience was very difficult. The filming conditions were squalid as you might expect. We were with them at all different times of the day and night to capture the entirety of their experience and it is a pretty grueling struggle for them.
After each four or five day trip to Nashville, and we had about five or six of them, I was worn out. For the individuals in the Tent City community, that existence just goes on and on. It's hard to imagine how they get through their days.
What positives can you take away from your experience with these people?
Even with their backs against the wall of poverty, they all displayed generosity and thoughtfulness and even good humor towards one another is some surprising ways.
Do you think homelessness is a solvable problem?
There will always be people who fall below the poverty line at times, and governments and charities can only do so much. I do think more could be done.
There are certainly opportunities for greater subsidized housing and shelters in all cities. But even then, there are people who would not want to abide by the rules, who would prefer to be on their own, on the streets and not have to answer to anyone.
Becoming part of the low-income or homeless "system" has its own set of problems - it can be a very dehumanizing experience, with curfews and all kinds of physical tests and checks and searches.