Side Step 2019 | Samira Elagoz: Craigslist Allstars
Craigslist Allstars is an highly personal documentary film that takes as its starting point Samira Elagoz's Craigslist ad for men. Elagoz arranges anonymous one-on-one meetings with men who respond to her ad – and shoots them on video. In three different cities she meets an exhibitionist, a magician, a sadist pianist, a softcore porn director and a divorced plumber. She spends time with the men, who highlight the sides of their personality that they want to show. The encounters are strange, funny, absurd, sad, sometimes passionate, sometimes distant, often characterised by both tenderness and a sense of danger.
Craigslist Allstars focuses a non-judgmental, exploring gaze on humanity and the behaviour of human beings: their desire for attention, their loneliness and their need for intimacy. Elagoz does not script the encounters or try to fade herself out from the view. Instead, she builds unpredictable situations she is drawn into by her artistic and personal curiosity, need and desire.
Elagoz’s way of creating documentary fiction results in frank and intimate situations where the power relationships between the artist and her object, male and female, evolve and transform. Craigslist Allstars gives the participants the opportunity to become seen by the camera exactly as they want to be seen.
The film is directed, shot, edited and produced by Elagoz. Since 2016, it has been screened in dozens of film festivals around the world and has received numerous awards.
Is it a feminist film? It's perhaps a perfect example of a female gaze. – Joost Daamen / Paradocs