Most people come to New York City to see the sights, and understandably they look up. Steve Duncan, a historian and self-described urban explorer, looks down–way down–into the maze of tunnels that run beneath the city. Directed by Andrew Wonder, Undercity, is a short documentary that follows Duncan as he shows us some of the city’s secrets and introduces us to some of the peculiar characters that that lurk below the streets. Not content to explore underground, Duncan sets his sights on some hard-to-reach landmarks above–way above–ground. Before long he is carefully climbing the Wiliamsburg Bridge. It’s a thrilling tour with a high degree of exposure and serious illegality, but Duncan, a confident climber, seems to know what he is doing as he shows us the city from angles rarely before seen.
From the Ground Up
Longtime filmmakers, as well as longtime locals, Beth and George Gage (Mountainfilm 2011, Bidder 70) traveled to New York City to tell the story of several women who lost their husbands on September 11, 2001. The film shows how these widows, many of them married to firefighters, have moved forward with their lives bravely and the best they can in the ten years since that hellish day. And while their loss endures, they have also invested themselves in a range of causes–from autism to a race for firefighters–and done so in a way that is deeply impressive.