American Library Association gives @home a starred review

The American Library Association's Booklist reviewed @home in their October Video Review "Champions of the People." Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to. @home received a starred review:

A recurring expression homeless-advocate Mark Horvath tweets after another wrenching encounter is that the homeless person’s situation or story “wrecks” him, and this compelling documentary may have the same impact on viewers. The subtitle, Start the Conversation, indicates the intent of the film: to raise awareness and get people talking. “We have a serious problem recognizing homelessness in this country” and “People turn away” are comments from observers.

The film follows Horvath on a more than 11,000-mile car trip across the country as he talks to homeless persons in shelters, tent cities, budget hotels, and other more unsafe and risky environments. Formerly homeless and sober for 20 years, Horvath is an empathetic interviewer and an indefatigable social-media activist (he posts videos online) who resolves to “solve homelessness in the next five or ten years.”

Director Susanne Suffredin combines cinema verité; on-location footage (including clips of Horvath during an earlier, more unstable period in his life); photographs; and interviews with homeless persons and advocates. Final credits update the status of some of the interviewees. By profiling Horvath and seeing the homeless epidemic through his eyes, this video resists compassion fatigue. Sure to be a potent discussion starter not only about homelessness but about the power of social media and the ability of Horvath to sustain the conversation. — Donald Liebenson

Read the review online: First published October 14, 2014 (Booklist Online).