This post was originally published on the Documentary Channel Blog on December 31, 2012.
Outside of Y2K and Ghostbusters II, New Year’s Eve isn’t necessarily a time we think about the end of the world. But today does mark the end of something, so I thought it a good time to share a new short film about one man’s prediction of the Rapture by way of coded messages in the Bible (it would have been more appropriate to post on December 21st, as Short of the Week did). Directed by Garret Harkawik and titled We Will Forget, the 13-minute documentary follows Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired MTA worker who dumped his entire savings ($140,000) into subway and bus stop ads declaring Judgment Day would occur on May 21, 2011.
Obviously that date came and went without the apocalypse happening, and that’s partly what makes this short so interesting. Harkawik began filming Fitzpatrick weeks before the day predicted to be the end, and he joined the ultimately failed prophet in Times Square on May 21st to document whatever would occur. Which turned out to be a great disappointment for Fitzpatrick, anger from some of those who believed him, and laughter from New Yorkers and tourists who gathered around him. The ending of the film almost feels as devastating as the end of the world. You almost feel sorry enough to wish that it all indeed went up in flames that day.
Watch the short in full here courtesy of Harkawik:
Official plot: Fueled by his religious beliefs, Robert Fitzpatrick spent over one hundred thousand dollars of his life savings on subway ads warning that the world would end on May 21st, 2011. ‘We Will Forget’ follows Robert in the weeks leading up to the 21st, and ultimately to Times Square where he awaits the rapture with fellow believers, onlookers, and naysayers.
This post is reprinted with the permission of Participant Channel, Inc. © Participant Channel, Inc. 2014.