Documentary - 50 minutes - 1994
Produced and directed by Dree Andrea
The Tunnel is an award winning documentary film about the lives of six homeless New Yorkers living in a deserted Amtrak tunnel underneath Riverside Park. Bernard, Bobby, David, Willie, Sheila and John all had different reasons to spend a period of their life there (ranging from 1 to16 years).
I visited and filmed them from 1989 to 1993 and got to know the hardship of daily life in the tunnel and the moments of happiness and camaraderie amongst the residents during the time spent around the grill. I followed their struggle to get out and start a new life 'up top'.
In 1991 Amtrak decided to start using the tunnel again. For some of the residents the roaring trains were a reason to leave, others didn't feel the need to move.
With trains running regularly Amtrak, afraid of accidents and lawsuits, decided to close the gates in 1993. Bernard, who calls himself 'The Lord of the Tunnel', reminded them of their statement made on CNN. As Amtrak had indeed promised not to chase any of the residents out, Bernard was given his personal key and reluctantly accepted the job as 'doorman'. Some of the former residents returned to the tunnel whilst others now live in apartments in New York.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?