—01. Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark.
Of all the documentaries that have attempted to capture the often grisly details of life on the street, the most successful is perhaps the 1984 film Streetwise. Directed by Martin Bell and photographed by Mary Ellen Mark, it follows a small group of teenage runaways through their daily lives in the gutters of Seattle. When I first saw it, the effects were hard to shake, intensified by the fact that my mom grew up on the same streets not long before they started making the film. The feeling of shattered innocence looms over every shot, captured beautifully by Mark. I was very sad to hear that she had passed away last week, but you can learn more about her life and process in this fascinating interview recently published by Dazed.