30 Seconds Away is an important film for Milwaukee and the country as a whole, really. The documentary from director Faith Kohler is a poignant look at the homeless population in the city of Milwaukee. Focusing on a central group of men, homeless for varied reasons 30 Seconds Away will run you over like a steam roller. Filmed over a six year period and a labor of love for some of Milwaukee's brightest film makers, this is so far one of the best of this year's Milwaukee Film Festival.
We are introduced to a man named Harold Sloan, a middle aged man who has been homeless for years as he struggles for an existence. Harold is a well spoken, likable man who let his drug addiction overcome him and became homeless. He struggles with the ups and downs with a good heart and uplifting spirit.
The men all have the same complaints about Milwaukee, the cold nature of the police officers and city officials. It isn't all bad news for the homeless population, there are programs to help. Interspersed with interviews of police officers and city officials including a Milwaukee County judge, determined to aid the men 30 Seconds Away tells it's story effectively well. The men interviewed are of varied backgrounds and homeless for reasons from drug abuse to mental disorders to even just bad luck. 30 Seconds Away is a term used by Harold, it refers to being 30 seconds away from homelessness at any given time and we see this happen throughout the film.
Like I said, the film is important for the reason that hits you in the face with these stories you would never think twice about if you saw the men on the street asking for money. They are hungry, they are cold and they are alone. Kudos to MKE Film for picking this up for the film fest this year. Keep your eye out for this film and don't miss an opportunity to see it, job well done.