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People around the world have turned to shoe shining to make a living. These are their stories. Enter their world. You will never look at a shoe shiner the same way.
Director: Stacey Tenenbaum
Review by Gilbert Seah
SHINERS in this documentary are the men and women who make their living cleaning our shoes. Director Tenenbaum takes her audience from New York to Tokyo and beyond including La Paz in Bolivia.
Toronto is also included. Before you can dismiss shoe shining as a degrading menial job or the film as an irrelevant one, SHINERS is surprisingly one of the brightest and happiest docs on show. It is akin to the satisfied face of a customer after seeing his footwear clean and shiny for the first time. The film also demonstrates the different cultures with reference to shining.
In Bolivia, these shiners cover their faces so as not to be recognized. In Japan, one shiner dresses in a suit charging his customers as much as $25 a shine, but a beer is included in the deal. The film also shows the reasons these people are doing this job – be it the freedom, supporting their families or just being happy, as one college educated lady shiner confesses. Guaranteed!
You will never look at a shoe shiner the same way again! The most important thing about the film is that the film teaches respect for every human being. The smile on the face of Vincent, the shoeshiner in Toronto featured in the doc at the end says it all.
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Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca
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