The Obscure Documentary: Hands on a Hardbody (1997) by S. R. Bindler

I spent a very long time – years! – searching for this documentary, so my glowing review is probably slightly skewed by the fact that, when I was watching it, I had a pleasant overriding feeling of a mission accomplished. Regardless, I can vouch for the fact that this is the perfect documentary, despite sounding really boring on paper. (Although sometimes I find that those are the best ones…)

‘Go Baby Go’ – A supportive husband cheering for his wife during the competition.

You know how in America people enter endurance competitions that involve standing and touching a car for as long as possible, to try and stay the longest and win said car?

Yep, this is about that!

Except the characters in this film are competing for a pretty cool truck, which makes it ever so slightly less crazy. The competition seems to attract a wide variety of characters, including a car-touching-endurance (is that what you call them?) expert, who has won previous competitions and has all the intensity of an Olympian athlete. There is also a devout religious lady and a deer hunter. And we watch them over days, in a parking lot, slowly losing their minds from sleep deprivation and exhaustion. If it sounds weird and intense, that’s because it is.

Having googled it, I also learned that this film has since been turned into a Broadway musical, but this is a documentary film festival and not a musical website. If you like to settle for the obscure choice, I strongly recommend you to watch the documentary. You can now stream it from their website too, and I promise you it is well worth paying for.

If you are not convinced yet, watch the trailer here!


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