When I saw Redemption earlier this year, when it was in the running for an Oscar for best documentary short, I thought it had a serious shot at winning (though the ultimate winner, Inocente, was very, very deserving). It’s not easy to see short films, especially docs, so it’s great that HBO does such a good job airing them, which it does with Redemption tonight at 7:40 p.m. (with rebroadcast through tomorrow).
The documentary on first glance seems to be about “canners,” mostly homeless folks who collect recyclable cans and plastic bottle for the deposit along New York’s Upper West Side. But it’s not so much about homeless people as it is a symbol for the toll the economic downturn has taken on all walks of life. Yes, there are alcoholic veterans and illegal aliens, but also a retired computer expert who can’t like off of Social Security, and families who do what the can to get by. It’s worth the half-hour it takes to watch.