The NY Film Critics National Series gives viewers the chance to screen new movies before they have been released. The series is filmed in NYC and broadcasted to several theatres around the country.
The series partnered with the National Coalition for the Homeless and Coalition for the Homeless for the most recent screening in the series, “Shelter.”
Following the screening, Peter Travers hosted a live discussion with Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Mackie, and Writer/ Director Paul Bettany. There were also questions asked from the audience and from twitter.
Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie star together in this film. Jennifer plays Hannah, a heroin addict trying to find her way back to who she used to be and Anthony plays Tahir, a Nigerian immigrant looking to repent from his past sins. From two different backgrounds, the pair makes a connection and fall in love as they live homeless on the streets of New York City.
There is a scene in the movie where Hannah holds a sign that reads, “I USED TO BE SOMEONE” as she is asking for money. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Hannah and Tahir’s past and how they became homeless. The film depicts the journey of being homeless and looking to find hope even in the darkest moments of despair.
“Shelter” was dedicated to a homeless couple who lived under a plastic sheet outside of Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly’s window who inspired him to write a story about a man and woman living on the streets of NYC.
Paul discussed that he wanted to write a story about judgement. The story shows how others judge those who are homeless. In one scene, two men are speaking to Hannah in French and shocked when she is able to join the conversation in French.
With 50,000 homeless living on the streets and shelters in New York City, “Shelter” puts a face, name, and story behind two of those people. Anthony spoke about the how the film shows two people finding hope and beauty in disaster.
This movie opens your eyes to not only look at others, but really see them, who they were, who they are, and who they are fighting to become.
Head here to learn more about the NY Film Critics Series.