Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Seaman & 207 (2018) Bushwick Film Festival 2018

Seaman and 207 | Official Trailer from Persine on Vimeo.

There is a reason I adore the smaller festivals, and that is because they run a ton of films that the bigger fests like New York or Cannes would never run. Smaller fests run glorious small scale cinematic gems that take you places and show you people and things that the larger fests wouldn't have a clue how to present to their audiences. (They should just show the damn movies)

One such gem is SEAMAN & 207, which is the street address that Yacahudah Harrison and his wife Danetia Harrison live at in upper Manhattan. Oh yea, they live in a car or van, and they never really leave because they are dispensing God's word to whomever comes by looking for it. They may seem nuts but gosh darn they are just really cool people.

I don't know where to begin. A years long portrait of the pair who really do stay in pretty much the same place year in and year out, this will give you a good idea what it's like for them as they make their living and their life being missionaries in a time and place that seems absurd.  Except that when you meet them and the lives they have touched it kind of makes sense. Yea their lives are not what we expect, but their belief in God and the scripture makes them truly rare birds.

Not pushy, not flashy, they don't really preach the word so much as put up signs and talk to anyone who engages them. Their attitude is you will come to them when you need to. Weirdly that seems to be the case as one woman says that she had jogged past them for years oblivious to them until the one day she needed advice and she stopped to talk, and she has been returning ever since. Personally after seeing the film I was filled with the urge to take the A train and go meet with them.

And no their life isn't easy. Some people are not nice to them. The weather can be challenging (we see several heavy snow storms). And going to the bathroom is often not an option (holidays like Christmas and New Years means they can't eat or drink because they can't go)

While I could quibble with the film, largely with the obvious missing chunks of time between filmmaker Sophia Tewa's visits, there is no point, the film is what it is which is a wonderful gem of a film. I quibble because I want to know more about Harrisons and I want to spend more time with them.

Ultimately SEAMAN & 207 is something that very few recent documentaries are, which is a wonderful film about something wonderful and precious and right under our noses.

SEAMAN & 207 plays on the 11th at the Bushwick Film Festival and is highly recommended. For tickets and more information go here.

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