Work / Film

The homeless Dirty Kids of America and their “rainbow party” explored in new film

Equal parts fascinating, disturbing and grubbily beautiful, a new film from UK-based filmmaker Alice Stein has managed to cast an entirely new light on homelessness and adolescence. Entitled Dirty Kids, she’s made a documentary about a bunch of homeless US teenagers who make a pilgrimage each year to “Rainbow Gatherings.” These camps originated in the 1970s, and offer up a supposedly utopian, countercultural space that eschews capitalism, consumerism and modern day values in favour of a sharing system and an amalgam of various different belief systems and traditions. There’s no electricity, hot water or any form of communication with the outside world for up to three months at a time.

While these gatherings are open to all – from the wizened, bearded and old to very young children – Alice’s lens is firmly focused on a riotous group of teens. She traveled with them for two years to tell their story, and boy is there a story to tell from the looks of the trailer.

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)

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Alice Stein: Dirty Kids (still)