Off the Rails (2016) – Review

Review Off the Rails

Darius McCollum is a man with a passion. Of course being passionate about something is beautiful. It means that there is something which moves you so strongly that you can lose yourself in it, love spending time on it and possibly even enhance your life. That is partly the case for Darius. His life is all about subways and public transport in New York. As a kid he spent a lot of time hanging around the stations and talking to employees. He helped them, rode along with them and after a while gained so much knowledge that one of the subwaydrivers let him control the subway train. It even went as far as him being allowed to ride one all by himself when he was 15. Unfortunately someone spotted him alone and he was arrested. It didn’t stop there though. He felt a strong urge to ride the trains. His applied for a job but was denied, so he found other ways to still do what he wanted. He decided to just take subway trains or busses from the yards and just follow their normal routes, picking up passengers. He’s been arrested for that 32 times and Darius is 50 now. He has spent half of his life behind bars because of his obsessive behaviour.

Review Off the Rails

Darius has Asperger syndrome, which is the reason why he keeps doing it. He wants to change, but he doesn’t succeed in doing so and the justice system he has become part of doesn’t invest in treating and helping him. Darius is interviewed throughout and it is clear that he’s extremely knowledgeable about the public transport system, which he has used to his advantage. He has received lots of attention in the media as a criminal, but this documentary also shows the other side of those spectacular headlines. You’d wish you could do something to help Darius, because the solution seems so simple.

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