Shutterstock

"I don't think you can ever come to terms with being a murderer."

In most cases compassionate is not the first adjective one might use to describe an exterminator, but for Michael Sabov, a New York City pest management professional, the word is hardly adequate. “It’s not easy to do, and when you see a lifeless body it's not easy to deal with,” says Sabov in Of Mice and Man, the short film above. With the five boroughs' rat population estimated at over 30 million, times are tough for the big-hearted exterminator. “Sometimes you get numb to it and that’s just scary. And the day I get numb to it is the day I’m going to want to get out of this business,” he says.  

In their latest short, filmmakers Tom Mason and Sarah Klein go beyond the standard interview format with inventive visual effects and animation to reveal the surprisingly humane mindset of this New York City exterminator. Collectively known as Redglass Pictures, Mason and Klein have been featured on The Atlantic Video Channel before with On Story, an intimate conversation with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns about the craft of storytelling.

For more work from Redglass Pictures, visit http://redglasspictures.com/.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An illustration of a private train.
    Transportation

    Want to Buy a Private Railroad Car? This Might Be the End of the Line

    If you dream of roaming the U.S. in a your own personal train car, you still can. But Amtrak cuts have railcar owners wondering if their days are numbered.

  2. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  3. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  4. Life

    The Bias Hiding in Your Library

    The ways libraries classify books often reflect a “straight white American man” assumption.

  5. A photo of a new subdivision of high-end suburban homes in Highland, Maryland.
    Equity

    Unpacking the Power of Privileged Neighborhoods

    A new study shows that growing up in an affluent community brings “compounding privileges” and higher educational attainment—especially for white residents.