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219 Ratings


Directed by Martin Bell
United States, 1984


This documentary about teenagers living on the streets in Seattle began as a magazine article. The film follows nine teenagers who discuss how they live by panhandling, prostitution, and petty theft.

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Streetwise Directed by Martin Bell

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1985 | Nominee: Best Documentary, Features

Sundance Film Festival

1985 | 2 wins including: Documentary (Special Jury Prize)

National Society of Film Critics Awards

1986 | 3rd place: Best Documentary

Critics reviews

The film that resulted is a staggering, if subtle, cinematic achievement, a poetic, attentive piece of filmmaking that hustles as hard as its characters, mirroring their grimy, tragically gorgeous aesthetic. It is a film about dignity, survival and the images we make of ourselves in the face of hardship… Emotional, understated, powerful and wrenching, the film is about true intelligence, the resilience of fragile human bodies and hard-earned hope.
December 02, 2013
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