(Photos: Scenes from the “Highland Park” film)
When a city is in a slump, the people are feeling the pain. Detroit, Michigan seemed like a shattered version of its former self. Its streets and buildings had all of the signs of the recession. There were schools in need of money to provide for their students and people losing their jobs.
This is a story of the recession that has touched so many towns across the United States, a desperate attempt to keep going.
Within this framework of despair, the film, “Highland Park”, focused on some of the struggling people whose lives were affected.
A small group of friends met at the local bar, a good place to unwind and forget their troubles. They joined in a lottery-pool trying to win the mega-jackpot.
It was frustrating for them to continue to buy 12 tickets a week, over 6,000 tickets for over a decade.
The tension rose as they watched the lottery results on television for the $207 million dollar jackpot. Each person was playing their children’s birthdays, anniversary and other personal lucky numbers. There was a feeling of desperation. No, their numbers did not win this time.
They were losing hope, “Can anything make the difference in their lives?”
What would you do if you won the mega jackpot?
The men and women were tense as they sat waiting again, this time for the $250 million dollar prize.
When the members of the group finally realized they had won the biggest jackpot in the lotto history, each had their own personal ideas of where the money would be spent.
Spending the money was easy but suddenly they realized no-one had collected the prize money yet.
I enjoyed “Highland Park” with its message of hope. Is it possible to take this message to the politicians and be able to see communities revive themselves?
Reminiscent of the “We can do it”, feel-good films of the past, “Highland Park” is the perfect film for today. Its story is being acted-out in real life by people in communities in the United States.
Danny Glover was a stand-out with his performance as a janitor who kept working at the school even though he was fired two years ago.
Billy Burke (Lloyd Howard), the good-hearted principal, was waiting to tell the school teachers that they were fired.
Parker Posey (Shirley Paine)- the crooked Mayor, was diverting a $150,000 grant for the old school library to wealthy investors for the construction of a Fashion Center Mall