Where The Streets Have No Name Vijaykumar Mirchandani

Where The Streets Have No Name Vijaykumar Mirchandani
This documentary depicts the life and work of Dr. Harald Falge, a chiropractor who immigrated to Australia from Europe hoping to find a "classless" society. Soon after his arrival in Cairns, he was shocked to find street kids prostituting themselves. He describes how this revelation led to he and his family preparing food for the children two nights a week, which soon led to food every night of the week and so on. This film is hard to criticize without feeling somewhat churlish, for who can argue with Falge's tireless efforts on the street kids' behalf? However, the fact is that the film exists primarily to promote Falge's organization: Street Level Youth Care. So what we get, with the doc's standard-issue mix of photos, talking heads and footage of Falge and his volunteers on the streets, with occasional lyrical bouts of slo-mo, amounts to little more than an extended infomercial. The dim song score doesn't help either (though, oddly enough, the soundtrack includes no U2). More than that, the film promotes a vague, nebulous, right-wing, Christian agenda, with much made of the fact that Falge doesn't seek government support, and a pointed reference to the Australian government's policy of funding families per child born, leading to broken families and homeless children. Again, one can see the value of Falge's work and still find the film a superficial glossing over of its subject. What could a filmmaker of the calibre of Werner Herzog make of this? Probably something uplifting, strange and haunting all at once. The DVD comes with no extras. (MVD)