After witnessing a random act of violence on the New York City subway, a young woman’s daily commute becomes a minefield of dark anxieties both real and imagined.

Last fall in New York City—as his wife watched in horror—an innocent man was pushed into the path of an oncoming subway car. It was a random act of violence, and its senselessness made it all the more disturbing to me. 

I began to fixate on this random “push” that ended an innocent man’s life. For the first time, I felt something sinister in my fellow commuters, and a dread as I stepped near the yellow safety strip at the edge of the subway platform. In speaking with friends about their reactions to this story, I found I was not alone, and knew that I wanted to develop a film that explored this primal fear. 

As someone who has dealt with my fair share of anxiety, I have always been interested in the ways in which feelings of panic and fear can mutate everyday events—riding the subway, crossing the street, stepping onto an escalator—into dark and foreboding experiences. These feelings are at the heart of THE PUSH.

-Will Joines / contact