They Called Him Mostly Harmless

They Called Him Mostly Harmless

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Competition Documentary Feature

They Called Him Mostly Harmless

Directed by: Patricia E. Gillespie

USA, 2023, 89m

Special Advance Screening

A mysterious stranger is found dead in a tent in an Everglades campground. Identified as a male and weighing only 83 pounds, he had $3,500 on him, but no ID. Even more perplexing are the handwritten pages of detailed code that were found nearby. When the police cannot identify the body nor a cause of death, internet sleuths and chat groups take the search for his identity online. Soon people are recognizing him as a hiker they met on a trail somewhere in Appalachia or Florida. Known as “Mostly Harmless,” no one caught his real name or where exactly he was from. The enigma of it all effectuates an obsessive search for answers that builds to the surprising unveiling of one man’s human condition. This fascinating, non-fiction puzzle-box of a story takes you on a journey from the natural world, to the digital age of social media and modern science, and back again. – R.B.

preceded by

Creating Things

Using interview fragments, art, and family mementos, two brothers explore who their father was and what he left behind.

USA, 2022, 11m, Directed by Bryan Simpson and Taylor Simpson


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