DER Documentary

S.P.I.T. - Squeegee Punks in Traffic

S.P.I.T - Squeegee Punks in Traffic launch preview watch a preview

by Daniel Cross & Roach
produced by EyeSteelFilm and Atopia
color, 77 min, 2001
DVD contains director's commentary and bonus material
English and French subtitles

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Roach has been living on the streets since age 14, he's rebellious, loud and defiant. As part of S.P.I.T., Roach has been given a camera to document his world. The footage he gets is urgent, because there's a war against squeegee kids. The RoachCAM is positioned behind enemy lines: living in derelict buildings, squeegeeing for money, being hunted by police. The viewer is forced to look at the living reality of Roach and his friends: Hungry on the streets in one of the world's most prosperous countries, classified as thugs, criminals, and enemies. These kids refuse to obey, assimilate, and conform to society's values - their beliefs and realities are scarred into their flesh in the form of piercing, tattoos, track marks, bruised veins, rotting teeth, gangrene, scurvy...

S.P.I.T. shatters the windshield between Us and Them. Roach's camera acts as the hammer: hard, forceful, direct; impacting with the force of an actual life. Daniel Cross' camera documents the impact: recording the reflections of individual lives, mirrored upon the shards of flying glass.

This is a collaborative film that seizes Punk's "do-it-yourself" ethos. Local punkers Deadly Pale, Locos and others contributed guttural emotion to the soundtrack. Artist Rick Trembles supplied an apocalyptic animation sequence from Roach's imagination. Youth and rebellion fuel this film.

Daniel Cross makes films with people who traditionally aren't given a voice. The Street: A Film with the Homeless has won audience awards and critical acclaim for its frank and compassionate portrayal of three homeless men. During the making of The Street, Cross began to notice more and more homeless young people. Kids sleeping in doorways, squeegeeing for spare change, stepping into traffic and announcing their poverty. Feared by motorists and hunted by police. S.P.I.T. Squeegee Punks in Traffic was created within the bleak reality of this new generation gap. This is an independent, auteur film: daring, cinematic and urgent.

"A very real, very thourough - even masterful - portrait of the life of a street punk named Roach" — Ian Brown, TVOntario, The View From Here
"We can't help but feel the humanity in [Roach's] struggle" Toronto Eye

Visit the film's website:

Visit the filmmaker's websites:, and, a website created for and by homeless Canadians.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Calgary International Film Festival, 2006
East Lansing Film Festival, Michigan, 2003
Australian International Documentary Conference, 2003
CAUS(e): Canadian Australian Underground Shorts Event, 2003
Docupolis, Barcelona, 2002
Florida Docufest, 2002
Festival d'expressions de la rue, Montreal, 2002
Local Heroes International Film Festival, Edmonton, 2002
Festival Images du Nouveau Monde, Quebec, 2002
Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Quebecois, 2002
Göteborg Film Festival Göteborg, Sweden, 2002
Festival Nemo Paris, France, 2002
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal, 2001
Festival international du nouveau Cinema et des nouveaux Medias de Montreal, 2001

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Punk Le Vote!
The Street

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