The Commute Screening

Last Thursday we asked: “Is public transportation accessible for people with disabilities?”

According to The Commute’s main character, George Gallego, it’s not. Gallego is a wheelchair user who lost the use of his legs due to a work accident twenty-four years ago. “I stayed indoors for a very long time because New York City was not very friendly to individuals with disabilities. I was afraid to go out.”

The Commute, a 3-minute short film produced by Goodwill NY-NJ and Rabbit Content Productions, depicts how George tries to get to his daughter’s birthday party on time. We see the challenges he encounters along the way as well as the reactions from passer-byres as they see, or fail to see, his trek through the city on public transportation. In real life, Gallego advocates to improve the services for individuals with disabilities, from transportation to housing and more.

After the screening, Bill Forester, Goodwill President and CEO interviewed Director Jake Alexander McAfee and Gallego. McAfee explained how he and his crew took three days, and nights, to film George on his trip. “We have about three hours of footage for this film.” To establish the “rhythm” of the movie, they used the song “Fake Empire” by the group The National. The piece captured the feeling of the film so good that McAfee decided to contact the group to ask permission to use. It. “I usually don’t allow others to see my unfinished films, but I did this time. Desperate times ask for desperate measures,” notes the director. He was in luck! The National loved the message of his film and allowed him to use their song.

Have you seen individuals with disabilities struggling to use public transportation? Please comment below.

Watch The Commute here

And view photos of the event, which started with a reception at 6 p.m.

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