Review English

All Riders review: The ongoing battle for handicapped accessibility in New York City 

/ 15min

Cinestaan Rating

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Krish Kalra

The 15-minute documentary highlights the plight of people with disabilities who use the city’s subway system.

All Riders, directed by New York University student Victor Dias Rodrigues, showcases the struggle for accessibility in New York City, highlighting several flaws in its public transportation system. The film documents the grievances of several people who are unable to access public transport in the city, especially those of disabled riders.

Rodrigues gives us a first-hand look at the condition of some stations in New York, which have no elevators for the public, thereby making it inaccessible to people with disabilities, women with children in prams and old people, among others. We hear from Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, one of the leaders of the disability movement, who voices his frustration against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for taking little to no action towards making public transportation more convenient for the handicapped. 

Additionally, we learn of many incidents indicative of discriminatory practices; one such situation in January 2019 resulted in the death of a young mother, Malaysia Goodson, whose life the film honours. 

While the film concentrates on the point of view of activists, it also highlights the work that the authorities have embarked upon in a bid to make subway stations more accessible. However, for public transport to be universally accessible, there is still a long way to go.

Although 15 minutes long, All Riders succeeds at making its audience empathize with those who cannot use public transport owing to lack of facilities and bureaucratic negligence. It depicts access to transport as a symbol of equality that is indispensable for the growth and development of a region. It also encourages viewers to take a stand against similar issues in their respective cities, for the basic human ideal of equality. 

The film was screened as part of the recently concluded 21st Palm Springs International ShortFest.


Related topics

Palm Springs Short Festival

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