April 24, 2014

Review of Craigslist Joe

Review of Craigslist Joe directed by Joseph Garner
Rating ****

craiglist joeA lot of people come up with great ideas for stories. But few actually take the next step and actually put in the work to tell that story. Joseph Garner and cinematographer Kevin Flint put in the work. The result is this entertaining look at people connecting through postings on Craigslist. The idea was simple: Joe Garner was going to rely solely on the generosity of people he met through Craigslist for food and shelter for thirty days. No money. No credit cards. No shortcuts.

This is low budget filmmaking: one actor/narrator, one camera. Joe sets out on his journey with Kevin acting as the fly on the wall capturing it all. In addition to the people Joe meets during his thirty day experiment, the film makes good use of an animated map graphic, to highlight the route Joe ends up taking around the country through ride sharing, and overlaid graphics of various Craigslist postings and responses.

If there is any takeaways from this film. it’s that people who have the time to browse Craigslist for free stuff have an abundance of free time and very little money. So the people that Joe ends up connecting with aren’t exactly young professionals. But then again maybe they wouldn’t be as interesting either.

I’ve used Craigslist and will likely use it again in the future. But I know from experience that you’re going to get more than a few people trying to scam you in some way. So I keep my exposure to a minimum. The film doesn’t portray any scammers. I don’t know if that’s because they didn’t come across any or if that was an editing choice. The message of the film is people helping people.

Unlike so many documentaries released today, this one is readily available for streaming and download in a variety of formats. You can find out more at craigslistjoe.com.

 

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