Set during winter storms on the Staten Island Ferry, this experimental documentary is a poetic meditation on Dante’s Purgatorio. As the boats cross the New York Harbor, back and forth through the storms, Cantos from Purgatorio are read (in English) evoking a spiritual passage between places.
2021. Run time: 78 minutes. Directed by Peter Lucas, Motion Graphics by Garry Waller, Music and Sound Design by Ben Kruse.
The feature documentary Before the Close of Day evokes something very ancient; the gathering of humanity waiting for the ferry, the snow falling outside, the boarding of the vessel, the crossing of the waters, the quiet looking out to sea, the passing of other boats, the docking and the descent to the shore. Once again people return to their way station, even in the wind and the rain, a crowd of souls fall into step for the late bell. Woven throughout are passages from Dante’s Purgatorio as a spiritual invocation. Prayer in motion. But there is no deliverance in this journey, no paradise on the other side, only the liminal waiting and the reflection of that destined voyage in the hereafter.