Saturday, December 5

Tag: “Dogtown Redemption”

An Iranian-American Walks Common Ground with West Oakland’s Homeless
Demographics, Events

An Iranian-American Walks Common Ground with West Oakland’s Homeless

By Sharon Simonson The mean streets of West Oakland seem an odd place to uncover kinship and hope. But that’s what Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Soltani found as he made his 95-minute documentary, “Dogtown Redemption,” about the homeless recyclers who make their lives there. Though his family came to America when he was 16 years old, pushed from their homeland by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and he attended high school in Boston and later Harvard University in Cambridge on a scholarship, it wasn’t until he moved to Oakland eight years ago that he felt true community in the U.S. What he discovered in West Oakland were people, who — like immigrants and refugees — had lost their connections to family and friends and their lifelines to better lives. As he learned the daily ri...