Movie: Bid for My Life
What a delightful documentary! I love watching individual directors’ indie films when they send them to me. But, I love it even more when the films are as entertaining and delightful as this one. The premise is simple. One man, James Hamer-Morton, allowed anyone to “bid on his life” for a one-month period. Those who won would essentially own him for the day. This would give them the right to demand any task they wanted of James (so long as it was legal).
This is an interesting project on several different levels. First of all, there’s a question of ethics. Is it in good taste to voluntarily offer oneself up as a de facto slave for a day? Then, it would be interesting to see how much people would be willing to pay for an unrestricted day of a person’s time. After that it’d be fun to see what kind tasks they’d dream up. Would they be jobs that these people legitimately need done (skilled or unskilled), or would they be designed simply to torment this poor actor/filmmaker? There are a lot of sadistic people out there in the world, after all. And, some of them are James’ friends! Finally there’s the question of how well he’d perform the tasks. Many of them were sprung on him without warning, so he really had to scramble to complete them in the time permitted. And believe me, James receives a few really tall orders. Some of the requests are the kind of thing that’d give you a pit in your stomach if you had to try them. I can’t imagine how this poor guy managed to complete a solid month of these demanding tasks. The physical weariness, and the mental stress would pretty much kill me. Of course, this does make for a very fun documentary. (Not that I enjoy watching people suffer). But, it’s a very fascinating social experiment.
I highly recommend keeping your eyes open for this film. I think it’s on the festival circuit right now, but I’m sure it’ll eventually be available to the public. You can check out a trailer here, and follow the film’s progress online.