Point & Shoot is a really thought-provoking, complicated little documentary that, frankly, I haven’t heard anyone talk about. Well, it’s a real gem, so don’t let it slip by you. The film follows Matthew Van Dyke. At the start of the film, he’s your typical man-child; his girlfriend and his mother do his laundry, fix his meals, clean his apartment, etc. Then he decides to take a “crash-course in manhood,” ie. a motorcycle trip across North Africa. Long story short, Matthew Van Dyke ends up on the front lines of the Libyan revolution. But the film is about so much more than that. It’s about the male fascination with adventure and heroism; when Van Dyke sets out on his trip, he gives himself a cool nickname and shows off his survival equipment to the camera with pride and excitement. And it’s about the perception of that myth versus reality; during a brief period spent with an American army unit, Curry films the soldiers doing their security rounds, but once they see the camera, they want to clear a building and then back out and reenact the entry, complete with door kicking and dramatic shouts – they call this “acting like soldiers,” but they already ARE soldiers, aren’t they? And anyway what does Van Dyke mean when he talks about a crash course in “manhood?” What is manhood? The ability to fend for yourself, the ability to look and act like an action hero? Or is it something simpler? Or does the catch-all word “manhood” essentially mean nothing now? Amidst all this thought-provoking deconstruction of violence and the media, Van Dyke has a fascinating emotional journey; but, ultimately, what is that journey to? It’s a really, really fascinating movie that not enough people have heard about. It’s both really entertaining and engaging and a film that will leave you musing about the ideas it contains long after the credits roll. Check it out. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – engaging documentary follows a modern layabout to the front lines of the Libyan revolution, examining the roles of violence, the media and the modern perception of self along the way. 4 stars.