Documentaries are at the point of over-saturation right now, but hey, there’s a lot of weird shit in the world and if someone wants to turn a camera on it, I’m okay with that. This one’s about a guy who finds a foot in a storage unit and tries to get famous off it … but, the guy who’s foot it is isn’t exactly cool with it.
There should be a new genre of documentary called micro-anthropology which would focus on the new wave of documentaries that focus on the singular relationships between two people and how that relationship affects their minuscule circle of friends/family. Finders Keepers could be the defining film of this genre. The film centers on two men, Shannon Whisnant and John Wood – self-described as polar opposites – who are drawn together when Whisnant finds Wood’s amputated foot in a recently purchased storage unit. Ostensibly, this is what the film is about – the struggle between two men to see whom has actual possession of a former body part – but, as all of these micro-anthropology films do, it’s more about the story of these two men and how this very strange event occurs and affects them. It’s a thin premise for the story, as the vaunted “foot in the grill” disappears for much of the film, but the directors, Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel, use the absurd set-up as an entry point into what becomes a dissection of these men, their families, and the lives they’ve lived. I think, if you look close, you can see that Carberry and Tweel are trying to make the point that everything leads to something, good or bad, and that these two men, and the foot that brought them together are just a small example of that, but it’s such a subtle, almost assumed concept, that the overarching story sort of blocks it out. Leaving the audience with a sort of sideshow attraction view of small-town North Carolina and the people who populate it. It’s a well made bit of fluff (aside from a music selection that borders on maudlin) but at the end of the day, it’s just that – an attractive, sometimes interesting film, that never digs deep enough to matter all that much.
One Last Thought:
At some point this dearth of good documentaries is going to have to end right? Finders Keepers isn’t even that good of a documentary and it’s still pretty good. When will the badness return?