Hotel 22 is a fantastic Short film directed by Elizabeth Lo, who’s made other wonderful short documentaries. It about a 24 hour bus route in Silicon Valley, line 22, that functions a sort of homeless shelter at night. She has two sentences on one slide at the end of the film that addresses what we watched.
“Line 22 is a 24-hour bus route in Silicon Valley.
For years, the homeless have taken shelter in it a night.”
The sentence provides additional contextual information in that couldn’t be introduced in a short film with no narration and no interviews. She lets us know that people for years have been using the bus as a homeless shelter. And I think that drives home a question for the viewer, Shouldn’t something be done to find a better night time refuge for the homeless population in Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest parts of the United States.
That being said, the film didn’t seem like a call to action, it felt more of placing us in this setting for one night. I loved the film because it really spoke for itself. Obviously there is guidance by the director. The camera shakes at a lot of points in the film, there are two scenes of confrontation that show us some of the hardships and stigmatism these passengers are subjected to on occasion, but it really doesn’t fell over dramatized.
I know in interviews that she had ridden the bus multiple times before filming and I think that she wasn’t taking advantage of a marginalized population. I think she was very respectful to the homeless population in showing this story, and while it doesn’t take a super political and overt stance, just by making this type of film is bound to have brought up conversations about planning for better places of shelter.