Welcome to the Falls
‘Niagara Falls, New York, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US. And statistically, one of the most dangerous cities.’
Welcome to the Falls is an original Huck film, directed by Alden Nusser. The film follows Joe Augstell, a Niagara Falls resident who is documenting a very dark reality of the city.
Despite Niagara Falls being a hot spot for tourism, life in the city is burdened with poverty and crime.
Augstell chases crime stories, documenting these incidents by posting the accounts on social media. His Facebook, NiagaraFalls StreetNews, has over 17,000 followers, a dedicated community, supporting Augstell’s mission to shed light on the gritty world of Niagara Falls, New York.
Armed with a police radio scanner, the film follows Augstell as he tracks down crimes in the city. Augstell focuses on street violence, documenting the state of Niagara Falls, photographing abandoned homes and armed robberies. He exposes this harsh truth of a much loved destination, home to a great waterfall, the Niagara Falls straddles the border of Canada and America. Yet, as Augstell depicts, this city is not all wonder as many would expect.
“Nobody outside Niagara Falls, NY even knew we have a crime and poverty issue,” he explains. “Most of America and the rest of the world still don’t know.”
The desolate homes and abandoned buildings frame a destitute backdrop that is Niagara Falls. Augstell captures the dark underbelly of this popular tourist destination.
Catch up with Augstell’s crime chronicles on his Instagram page @joe_augstell.