Le méchant trip / Exiles in Lotusland
Exiles in Lotus Land offers unprecedented intimacy into the lives of marginal youth, one that forces viewers to reconsider their view of society at large. Ultimately, it is a gripping love story, a bohemian cross-Canada road adventure with a shocking end. Dany (aka Ti-Criss) and Melissa (street name Melo) are a Quebecois couple living in Vancouver - 4000 kilometers from home, surrounded by a foreign language and homeless. They are among the Quebecois runaways who comprise a quarter of Vancouver's many street youth. While the unsettling story told in Exiles in Lotus Land reveals youth living on the razors edge, the greatest strength of Ilan Saragosti's documentary is his neutral gaze – treating the subjects neither with pity nor hero-worship - which affords a serious examination of marginality that acknowledges the subjects for who they are, and reaches out with the humanity they deserve.