Taxi Driver

2009

Taxi Driver is a contemporary interpretation based on the 1976 American film of the same title. Directed by Martin Scorcese, the movie deals with issues of violence and isolation in New York City experienced by a mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran Travis Bickle during an economic recession. In 2008-9 visiting New York City, Alice witnessed firsthand the city being hit by another economic recession as injured and traumatized war-veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were coming back. The striking parallels between the two situations were the starting-point for Alice’s series. Using a multiracial cast with different cultural backgrounds, Alice juxtaposed elements inspired by her cast: the child prostitute Iris was translated into a Harajuku Lolita from Japan, while Travis Bickle was portrayed by an African American. Struck by young minority boys in poor boroughs like The Bronx being recruited by the US Army, Alice imagined Travis in these boys who had no stable home or promising future to return to.