Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2011 MFF Film #11 - Breaking and Entering

USA/Canada/China/Norway, 2010
Director: Benjamin Fingerhut

Breaking and Entering showcases the many people who attempt to break world records, but also examines the psychology of why they do it.  Many world record holders and record seekers are visited, including a guy who attempts to catch a grape thrown from the farthest distance, a marathon "joggler" (juggling while running), a man attempting to ride a stationary bicycle for more than 100 hours straight and even a guy who holds over 100 world records, from "fastest mile while pushing an orange with their nose" to longest time juggling under water.

Breaking and Entering is a really interesting documentary that, for the most part, is light and humorous.  The records that people attempt are a riot, and in general, nothing one would think of doing unless under the influence.  (Such as the fastest mile while pushing an orange with your nose - who came up with that?!)  This is serious business for everyone though, and underneath the obvious reasons for attempting a record - challenging one's self, attention and competition - there are some deep psychological issues with some of them.  The man who attempts the stationary bicycle record, despite his eye-rollingly egotistical comments, did not receive support from his father when he was a child and has been striving for his attention and approval ever since.  Financial problems become a factor for some of the competitors as well, when their obsession that has no monetary gain begins to affect the family's financial well-being. 

The tone of Breaking and Entering is light, however, and all of the interviewees are real characters.  (Wouldn't you almost have to be?)  It is very entertaining and enjoyable, and as long as the sight of the chafed rear end of the cyclist isn't too offensive beyond the obvious yuck factor, can be enjoyed by all ages, either as a celebration of achievement, or simply to gawk at the participants.  Something tells me that either reason would be fine with most of the subjects. 

MFF Ballot Rating: 4 out of 5

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