By Morella Moret
Craigslist Allstars is a postmodern tale of the loneliness of man. The director Samira Elagoz opens the film with an e-mail: she contacts strangers so she can then record herself meeting them and anything that happens in the process. She listens to them, disinhibits them and creates a safe place for them to present their secrets and deepest pains, and we are there to witness this.
There are different characters throughout the film: the magician, the director, the Turkish dancer, the Japanese boyfriend, the sadist and others. They perform an exercise of introspection, where a welcoming virtual stage functions as a platform. In a way, the camera functions as a video diary in which they can reinvent themselves as people or characters.
The real world and the virtual world merge and intertwine to create a story, which Elagoz’s subjects act out in front of us. Nothing shown here is real; the camera has turned everything into a performance, a representation of what exists, of what is and what is not.
Elagoz is one of the tools used in this performance. She dances with them, she listens, they have sex, they hug, they fall in love. Craigslist Allstars is a sample of human desires and needs. She and the camera face the world and the characters (created altogether or adapted from what’s real). She forms with them a social laboratory where everything is allowed (so long as she is willing). Samira lets us know them beyond what’s real: we see the universe they have crafted and feel that we are now part of it.
CPH:DOX 2017 Dox Award
Director: Samira Elagoz
Script: Samira Elagoz
Cinematography: Samira Elagoz
Editor: Samira Elagoz
Cast: Samira Elagoz
Finland, Netherlands, 2017