What's Snoo?

18-Feb-07 10:49 AM by
Filed under Reviews; Comments Off on What's Snoo?

[Editor's note: With this submission, we welcome our first guest author to Showbits. Interested in writing your own blog post here? Drop me a line!]

What do you get when five mentally and physically disabled persons pile into an RV and travel across the United States, interviewing people on the street? The answer: How's Your News, a documentary that provides a poignant glance at our culture's reaction to people who are different.

This film chronicles a two-week journey from New Hampshire to California as five handicapped reporters conduct person-on-the-street interviews, including in New Haven, at a honky-tonk bar in Nashville, on an alligator farm in Arkansas, and on Venice Beach. When I was lent this movie, I was told it would be "funniest film I'd watch in a long time." I must've missed that point, as I found the documentary more thought-provoking than humorous. Two of the five travellers were incapable to speaking, and it was rather sad to see them being ignored on streets throughout the country.

Interestingly, the farther south and west the crew traveled, the more inclined pedestrians were to talk to the reporters. It seems those of us in the east tend to be in too much a hurry to stop and have a conversation with someone who is calling out for some attention. Southerners, with their slower pace of life, seemed to be more open to a conversation with someone our culture has labeled as "slow." Perhaps best of all are the people who took the time to dance with the mute, wheelchair-bound man. The smile on his face as someone paid attention to him brought tears to my eyes.

I was a skeptic upon putting in this film; I thought it would be a cheap laugh. But I found it provided an opportunity to question my own hurriedness, in not stopping to talk to someone who wanted to talk to me, and the hurriedness of American culture, particularly on the East Coast. How's Your News is an inspiration. It may not be the best documentary ever produced, but it is filled with joy as the team of five travel to their destination in the journey of a lifetime.