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documentary, miniDV, 2mins, 2006

filmed and edited by Donal Foreman

shot on location in New York


As life carries on around her, a bag lady on the platform of a subway station obsessively cleans the ground at her feet.

This is one of the most moving short films I've ever seen. Nothing is said. Nothing need be. Donal Foreman came upon a moment of sublime truth and had the sense to record it without commentary. Its tragic message is objective and subjective at the same time. Instead of the harangues of a Michael Moore, you have the quiet persistence of a moral vision which empathizes without sentimentality. I find more humanity in these two minutes than in all the contemporary documentaries I've seen in the past two years. Donal Foreman doesn't pretend to be a knower. He is a witness, a companion to the mute suffering which is the human condition.

Rob Nilsson.


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