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The Switchman's Choice

The 2003 Oscar-nominated short film, Most (Czech for Bridge), tells the story of a young couple who have a son whom they adore. The father works as a switchman for a railroad line that caters to tourists, on a swing bridge that passes over a river.   It is his job to pull the switch that opens and closes the bridge.

One day, the father goes off to work but is unaware that his young son is following behind, and has fallen onto the train tracks on the bridge.   A train is approaching.  The film's viewers can see the terrifying sight before the father can.  There's not enough time for him to make it to safety.

Just then the train whistle blows.  The father looks up and notices his son in his precarious position.  He knows in an instant that if he closes the track, the boy will die.

The film depicts the agony on his face. He loves the boy deeply, but he knows that if he fails to close the bridge, there will be a catastrophic train wreck. Finally he pulls the lever and the bridge locks into place.  The camera then depicts the vacationing passengers on the train, laughing and enjoying themselves as the train races across the bridge.

They have no idea how narrowly they have escaped losing their lives - nor what their passage across the bridge has cost the switchman.

A trailer for the film may be viewed here.