The Clark Jones Story is a brilliant mini-biopic covering two major topics. Clark Jones life during the midst of his choices and how those choices impacted his life, and homelessness. The film opens with a narration that asks a question. What if you were homeless? That question sets the tone for the first act of the film and does a good job staying on the point of living the life of a fly on the dashboard of nomadic musician Clark Jones. Though the film jumps around a bit, the story of chasing a dream – Clarks dream of a surprisingly difficult thing to do – find housing.
Clark Jones is an amazing person to watch at this point in his life. His truck, which is his home has no windows, is so dusty you cannot see the gauges. There are dents on the body of the truck and there are more things broken than working, but despite that Clark is still a wonderfully joyful man with an insatiable desire to learn and explore life just as a happy man would. The value in this film comes from Clark’s perspective despite his circumstances and the outcome of the story of the film is surprisingly suspenseful.
Much of the film takes place across a few different indoor locations with interviews of Clark and his take on things as he seeks out his friend he met online and de-facto antagonist, Sarah. Sarah is the drive behind Clark’s desire to break free from homelessness because frankly she offers Clark a “get out of homelessness free card” and all he has to do is drive across the country in his windowless home on wheels and find her before he runs out of money.
The second key element in this mini doc is a man named Erich Lutz who works as a homeless advocate and social worker in Minnesota. Erich shows up in the film as a form of credibility to the situation that Clark is in. His perspective wets the baggage of this movie and makes the emotional hit of Clarks story so much heavier in a good way.
This film overall has a lot of charm and emotional depth though the themes are hard to watch. We have to ask ourselves – are we seeking knowledge through films like these? I think so because new perspectives provide new ideas to open minds and solving any humanitarian problem including homelessness starts with understanding the problem.
Overall The Clark Jones Story provides a solid story and brings light to an important topic without coming off pretentious or preachy. Clark Jones is a real person who starts in a very chaotic situation and ultimately through no shortage of hope and ambition – end up in another very real and chaotic situation.
9/10 | Documentary | Humanitarian Film | Some odd cuts here and there but great overall.