Redemption (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Redemption (2012)

Redemption (2012)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Redemption Photos

Movie Info

If you live in a city of reasonable size, you've almost certainly seen them -- the shabby men and women who spend their days collecting cans and bottles they've rescued from trash barrels, alleys, sidewalks, or anywhere people gather, making pocket money by turning them in for the refund deposits, usually five or ten cents per container. In New York City, these people are known as "canners," and while they're a common sight, in a real sense they're also invisible, a segment of the economic underclass most folks prefer not to acknowledge. Filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill introduce us to a handful of New York City "canners" and looks into the lives of people struggling to get by through other people's discards in the documentary Redemption. Redemption received a 2013 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject.
PG (for thematic material, some violence and mild language)
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Independent Pictures


Critic Reviews for Redemption

All Critics (1)

A touching portrait of people struggling, trying to get by collecting cans on New York's city streets. But also a great argument for nationwide redemption fees on bottles and cans.

Full Review… | August 29, 2016
Movie Nation

Audience Reviews for Redemption


"Five cents isn't much, but it's honorable work. We hold our heads high." -Nuve, mother of three, Sunnyside, Queens, NY Meet Susan. She has a college degree and was a 1990 member of the IBM Winner's Circle, making her one of the top sales and marketing executives in the country. She's retired now. She's also a "canner"-one who collects bottles and cans and redeems them for income-because her social security is insufficient. The HBO documentary short, Redemption, interviews and observes canners in New York City. A few meet the stereotypical expectations of substance abusers or the perennially homeless, but most of those interviewed formerly worked jobs in factories, restaurants, or similar situations where the jobs no long exist. Some are families trying to make a better life for their children. Pointing out the parallel to President Obama's statement, "Before we were 'us', we were 'them'", filmmaker Matthew O'Neill said in an interview, "I think that's something we have to pay attention to..., recognizing that the men and women collecting bottles and cans are just like you and me. And they slip through the cracks." With skillful photography, insightful interviews, and careful editing, this documentary makes a forceful statement to that effect. ~~The Curt Critic ~ Liz ZĂ©landais ~ ~~

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