There comes a time in a film reviewers career (yes I call writing a film review once or twice a month a career) where they happen upon a gem of a movie via Netflix that is so touching that they just have to write about it…and since I have an avenue to express myself, let me tell you about Craigslist Joe.
For some reason I am on this documentary kick lately. I don’t know what it is, but I have watched everything from getting rid of household cleaners in your home to what happens to porn stars after their careers are over and none of them compare to this little ditty Craigslist Joe. I heard about the documentary from my co-worker Julie who heard about it from her pre-fiancé, so of course I had to check it out.
If you don’t know what Craigslist is, open up another browser and Google it (man for some reason I am all about the plugs tonight…I swear Grab Bag Cinema is by no means controlled by the masses…unless you count Michael but he is rather mellow, so therefore we are not controlled by anyone). With that out of the way, the premise of the film is rather awesome. This guy Joe wants to see if there is basic good in people so he decides to utilize ONLY Craigslist for 30 days to see if he can have all of his basic needs met; food shelter, transportation, fun, etc. He has a few simple rules; he is not able to use any of his own money or credit cards. He has to use a new phone with no contacts of anyone that he knows prior to his Craigslist journey. And finally, anything and everything he does, he HAS to utilize Craigslist to achieve it.
I like the think that the glass is half full in most instances in life and I do believe in the good nature in human beings. I am also a realist and know that there are some real sicko’s out there, none-the-less, this movie is rather intriguing. Joe, along with his trusty cameraman, whom you only see once travel from the West Coast to the East Coast and back (I wont tell you all where he travels because you have to see it to believe it) all within the allotted time frame, and all from the goodness of others. Along the way Joe meets numerous people from a free spirited journeyman, a woman who I believe supports him in connecting with his inner spirit, a group of individuals helping under privilege children and a dominatrix, just to name a few. Some of the individuals he meets have touching tales to tell and others just help him along his path to tell his tale.
I don’t think it’s hard to believe that no bad things occurred along the way. He did have to sleep on the streets at least one night (the whole film took place during the month of December so that had to have sucked) without shelter, and he did point out that he lost some weight along the way because his pants were very loose. I remember telling my co-worker that I think in some instances the fact that there was at least two people at all times on this adventure and one had a camera probably saved him in what could have been bad situations, yet all in all everything that happened in the film happened. There are billions of people in the world and even though we all have differences of opinions, beliefs and feelings, for the most part, I think we are all good. And who knew you can find all of that on Craigslist.