I Am Another You

81 min. Nanfu Wang, dist. by FilmRise c/o MVDvisual, www.mvdb2b.com. 2018. DVD UPC 760137113492. $19.95. SOC SCI
A chance encounter with a fellow traveler in a Florida hostel leads to a journey for Chinese filmmaker Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) that lasts years and traverses the United States. Wang views 22-year-old Dylan Olsen's transient lifestyle as the embodiment of American freedom and for a month follows his every move with her camera. When the working relationship sours, Wang returns to her student life. Olsen is a charming, attractive white male who regularly inspires the kindness of strangers, and it seems that Wang fetishizes his street life while not probing the true nature of homelessness. This is remedied as Wang picks up Olsen's story two years later when she finds his family in Utah. The second half of the film explores the effects of Olsen's transience on his relatives and reveals the devastating nature of its cause. As Olsen matures, so does Wang's filmmaking—shots of her subject exploring Utah's extreme landscapes are truly breathtaking.
VERDICT Both Olsen and Wang unveil a growing awareness before viewers' eyes in this absorbing portrait of a young man.
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