Using images found on street signage in Sydney and New York, Jason van Genderen shot this entire movie on a cell phone! "Mankind is No Island" is a cleverly crafted visual and musical narrative, whose production budget was a whopping $57! Winner of the TropFest NY 2008 award, the world's largest short film festival, this is three and half minute experience that will leave you inspired.


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  • Leslie


  • Sarah Haque

    The eyes said it all, reminding us to be more humanitarian in this life...

  • Jami2d

    Without beautiful reminders such as this film we can become caught up in our own life's issues and become a little cold and or callous towards other who are really in need. In need of what? In need of human compassion, human conversation maybe just the touch of another human. A simple hand shake, SMILE, head nod come on we are all capable of some kind of effort to help a stranger. You are blessed so share your blessings. Kindness is contagious! Have a nice day:)

  • Judie

    The simplicity but the depth of it.

  • Lynn Murray

    I visit San Francisco often. I use a manual wheelchair. The hills are a little challenging. Otherwise, I "love" the place. My wife becomes nervous when I stop and talk to down-and-out folk. Being in a chair has taught me some serious lessons. The "video" nails it. People make the place; not vice-versa. Kudos!

  • geoxroma multi tasking for this moments heart centered message...held my not look away...take it in...even shadow and dark...focus...on the truths...believe not the matter what present to your shared human experience...this moment will not return again...till the next spin of the karma wheel.

  • Lynn

    Brought tears to my eyes as it revealed a truth about myself, and brought more tears to my eyes as it revealed the truth of how we could be.

  • sunnykat

    It's simplicity and universality....forget the cities, oceans, spaces between.....remember the spark of every human soul. Thanks for this poignant expression and reminder.

  • kelly

    Wonderful, thank you!

  • Olala

    We need to get a glimpse of reality to make wake us up. To jeff (commentator below) it is not worth the use of self victimization. We need to remember that in every person there is always a story. For example, when we are asked what we think of prostitutes, the first things come in mind are the negatives; slut, whore or whatever adjectives. But we fail to understand that there are other factors that lead her to where she is at. It could be that she is a product of abusive parents, been sexually assaulted or whatever other reason. It is so easy to make judgments without even thinking first. Also, we need to change our mindsets because for years, institutions have taught us what we should believe in and how we should think. Thanks.

  • jading

    hopeful hopelessness......different than hopeless hopefulness

  • Deb

    Thank you for sharing so poignantly how we are connected no matter what we try to avoid. This touched me deeply....there are no islands of living creatures...all is connected and you captured this.

  • m

    It's amazing how the subtleties of environments that are oceans away can be revealed and strung together through the small lens of a cell phone camera. Perhaps, the humility of a few megapixels is the only way which we can become sensitized to the acute and discover their interconnectness across the borders of "Sydney" and "NYC", or "me" and "you". The Zulu proverb "umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" means "a person is a person through other persons". This video is a good example of that spirit of oneness. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • c

    I work with people with disabilities of various kinds (physical, emotional, behavioral). Many homeless people are people with disabilities. The people I work with may not ever function like a Donald Trump (see comment below) and don't have the benefits many of us take for granted (race, connections, cognitive ability, mental and physical health, support), but they have a lot to offer and make my life better every day. Every single one of the people I work with tries their hardest to succeed, but success looks different for them than it does for others. I wonder if they may give up when they get older and they don't fit the mold others have defined for them and end up like these folks in this video. It doesn't have to be that way if we make a commitment as a society to make sure everyone has decent food, shelter, clothing, health care and sanitation. A buck now and then to a guy on the street is not going to do it but acknowledging differences and reaching out is a first step. Thanks for this video.

  • Deepak Sethi

    Thank you , inspirational.

  • Dave

    A lovely composition of a very common sign boards we fact we "don't" see..!!

  • tori

    there needs to be more work like this

  • Gregory

    I have a few homless people who live in my neighborhood...I try to make eye contact with them evey day and give the few spare coins I have and say God Bless doesn't seem enough but it is what I have right npow to give...a smile and some change or a banana or bread...

  • jeff

    Sharon, Donald Trump lost it all and recovered because nobody can take away the KNOWLEDGE in his head or yours. Lots of rich people have lost it all, learned from their mistakes and became better the second time around. Read Jack Canfields (Chicken Soup): "Success Principles". Better yet, do as I did, buy copies for everyone you love. Teach a man how to fish... .

  • Sharon

    What a wonderful use of simple technology to illuminate an unnecessarily complex situation. And not all homeless are in their situation because they "goofed off" in life. Many had circumstances thwarted on them without their consent. A nation is as healthy as it treats the poor among them. So what does that say about our world?

  • jeff

    I hand out $1 to beggers everyday. It is how I pay it forward , it is my tithing. But I must say, if you cannot make it in this country, go live in China and you'll see how good you have it, even if you are on the street. IGNORANCE makes you a slave and keeps you one the street, so do handouts. You must have a marketable skill and be productive in life. These people chose to be partyers in school, goofing off, the class clown. Now they pay. They should have been paying attention in school. Teachers can tell who will have a great future and who will not, it is all about applying yourself. God helps those who help themselves. .

  • just a fellow guest of planet Earth

    I have never looked away and as a result have met a few very interesting people. I understand why others look away. Fear.

  • Niamh O'Carroll

    Thanks for this inspirational film. Hope it makes many open their hearts... I am passing it around the world. Wishing all inner peace.

  • Arti saxena

    A heart touching video,an endless pain in millions of eyes but most imp. question for today's generation.... somewhere are we not responsible for those who gave us a worth life & in return what we are giving to them!!I pray that my simple effort in form of this short messsage may help to some of those ruining hearts.

  • Azolean

    Once upon a time a nameless, faceless stranger gave me the shirt off his back to keep me warm on a chilly, windy night on the Courthouse Pier in Gulfport, MS, USA. It was then that I decided to see what it was like to be one of the nameless, faceless homeless that we see every day. I wanted to return the favor for what was done to me. I spent 8 years roaming the streets as a homeless person to see what it was like to have that kind of freedom. Sadly enough, I discovered that most choose that life. Be it through addiction or other means, they choose it. They choose not to work, not to stand on their own two feet with their heads held high in pride for what they'd provided for themselves. If you don't believe me, try it some day. I am an artist with a giving and caring nature. I've seen too much to believe otherwise. While this was a beautiful video, my experiences will never let me forget the day Gypsy, my best friend, was gunned down for no better reason then being homeless. And he had more then $3 million in the bank the day he died. For whatever reason, most of them choose to be that way. Don't be fooled by their pitiful, begging looks and stories of poverty and hardship. I am now crippled by genetics and still I find a job that will provide for myself and the ones I love. It is not a job I like or one I would wish on anyone else. But I do it. And on Thanksgiving day each year I pray that others will consider themselves as beloved of God as I for having that simple job that allows me to provide for myself and the ones I love each and every day I feel that pain tearing at my chest.

  • MEB

    Thanks. The film made me sit quietly and reflect. I am different inside after watching this.

  • Maddison Cameron

    I believe we should all care and take responsibility for those around us. When we have a world with love hope and faith, we will have a world full of grace. Blessed Be and So Be It

  • Michelle Clark

    a video like this needs to come around more often, gives one a chance to reflect, to allow themselves to feel that pain and maybe, just maybe, add another moment of kindness to this world....peace & light...

  • Sonal

    i m spell bound... amazing.... truth is what is need to shown... how we r wasting today.....

  • Nandini Ramasubramanian

    Pained me greatly. The depth in the eyes of the elderly touched me. we live only for a few years and, truly , HOW we waste! HOW we pass by unfeeling1

  • dilshad deyani

    i go to NY city very often...this piece of producion is awesome..I could feel my thoughts as i usually walk down the street and used to look at these images ..The words n images portrayed on the streets contrast how rich n poor share the same space of the city...I simply see NY as real world and real reflection of what the third world or industrialized world is made up just all breathes right in fornt of your eyes....I have passed this movie to Dallas leadership council where i spoke about ethnic identities and cultures...and what bonds us...lovely work...virtual applaud from ....real heart...

  • Page 1

  • Listen to an interview with Jason van Genderen, to learn more about the behind-the-scenes story.
  • Learn more about homelessness, and see how you can lend a hand to a local shelter.
  • Next time you encounter someone on the streets who needs a hand, take a few minutes to stop and assist.

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