All Riders thrusts its viewers into the disability rights movement in New York City. Following one of its leaders Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, it takes a peek behind the curtain with those that expose and combat the MTA’s repeated efforts to deny its disabled riders access to public transportation.
A good documentary, like the BBC, should look to inform, educate, entertain. With a short film, the pressure to achieve this in the condensed timeframe is heightened. However Victor Dias Rodrigues informs and educates with ease.
Where the film succeeds is shining a spotlight on a shocking lack of accessibility on the New York subway. It is dumbfounding that the City That Never Sleeps, the city that a few miles away has Lady Liberty welcoming your huddled, tired masses, is so unaccessible to so many people. Whether they are disabled, pregnant, new parents, elderly or infirm.
The film follows a group seeking to have the MTA, recognise and work towards The Americans with Disabilities Act. A Civil Rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.
Out of the 472 stations in the five boroughs, only 100 are wheelchair accessible. Statistics show over 9000 elevator breakdowns in one year, which one activist calculates to 1 out of 4 stations being without lift access every day!
It highlights some of the key players on both sides of the issue and the many, many barriers in place.
It is clear that there is a long road ahead before any meaningful change is achievable but All Riders offers a short, sharp shock to the system.
Director: Victor Dias Rodrigues
Runtime: 16 minutes