Germany, United States
2010 | Numerique | 1:23:00
Sirens, screams, laughter, singing, bartering: these are the sounds sweeping into the rooms of Downtown Los Angeles' old forgotten hotels. Their inhabitants' stories tell of lives lived on the margins. Some residents stay for a few months. Others have lived there for as long as 40 years. According to Charlie, the desk clerk at the King Edward Hotel, “you can be anything you want; you can do anything you want - and nobody gives a damn!” After all, we’re on America’s most notorious skid row, also known to old-timers as the Nickel. Director Alina Skrzeszewska also lived in one of the hotels for a year and a half, while shooting "Songs from a Nickel" . The result is a strikingly intimate portrait of people living in this largely invisible community. Their lives speak of both desperation and beauty, while subtly resisting the encroaching gentrification. A layered image of America’s diverse urban landscape unfolds, with all its fractures and traumas, as well as its potential.