What’s the longest walk you’ve ever gone on? Chances are it was just peanuts compared to the journey of Matthew Green, a genial bro who’s spent several years to a decade on a mission to walk all of New York City’s estimated 8,000 walkable miles. Jeremy Workman’s documentary The World Before Your Feet follows up Green through much of this, creating both a portrait of New York’s many secrets and of white male privilege. Workman is less concerned with the chronology of Green’s walk than what he learns about the city — the timeline frequently gets all Jeremy Bearimy when Green points out recurring motifs in architecture or signage, and Workman cuts between seasons mid-sentence.
The extent of Green’s privilege becomes clear when he meets Garnette Cadogan, a writer from Jamaica who’s also a compulsive city-walker but who has to take great pains to appear as safe and non-threatening as possible when Walking While Black — no hoodies or dark clothing, and no sudden movements. Meanwhile, the savant-like Green can just walk into any situation wearing his standard uniform of a shorts, button-down shirt, and a baseball cap, and he’s perpetually couch-surfing with strangers. It doesn’t make The World Before Your Feet less enjoyable, but it’s a reminder that world isn’t equally before everyone’s feet.
Not rated. Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.