The World Before Your Feet

The story of a man who spends his life walking the streets of New York, because he can.

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.

Tags: , , ,

Related Stories