Doug Roland’s Feeling Through takes places over several hours on a cold night in New York City. You can feel how bitter it is outside as the night settles in. Over the course of this evening, a young homeless man will learn an unexpected lesson and maybe a part of him will be forever changed.
Tareek spends every day trying to find someone to let him sleep on their couch. He seems to bounce between friends and girlfriends, but he doesn’t seem to want to admit that he’s homeless–he doesn’t say to anyone anyway. He catches up with friends and smokes in the street. Maybe he can distract himself enough until morning comes? When Tareek happens upon Artie, however, he encounters someone who faces challenges that Tareek may not have taken into account before.
Artie is deaf and blind. When Tareek finds him, he is standing on a street corner holding up a sign asking for assistance, his face almost resting in a smile almost expressing his patience for assistance. Tareek and Artie spend time together as they wait for their respective buses and we realize that communication isn’t as hard as we make it. These two men have to find a way to talk with one another, and they make it happen. Would it be so hard if we all looked at it in that simple way? Wouldn’t we want someone to help us if we were in a vulnerable position?
Roland’s actors are so easy with one another that it feels like we are watching real people or a documentary. As Tareek, Steven Prescod has a terrible sadness behind his eyes. Homelessness is a huge issue in almost every major city, but he brings such a loneliness to Tareek. Being alone on the street–even for one night–must add so much more weight to his situation that Tareek must want to avoid it at all costs. Robert Tarango, a DeafBlind actor, plays a man who simply wants to get home. We have so little representation of differently abled characters on screen, but especially of someone getting through the routine of their ordinary day.
There is an innocence to this film that feels kind of bold in its execution. Sometimes we have to see something or someone going through something entirely different in order to kickstart our own momentum. Feeling Through is a feel good movie with no irony but with a distinct perspective.
You can watch Feeling Through on Omeleto.