GPFF Review: Mistaken for Strangers

Global Peace Film Fest is an annual event held in Orlando. This year members of the RCC 100: Writing About Social Justice and Community class attended and wrote reviews on a selection of the films. Read all reviews here.

The film Mistaken for Strangers by Tom Berringer starts out as a documentary about the band The National but throughout we are revealed the real message of finding yourself. Being Mistaken for Strangers with your brother based on looks isn’t a big deal, but when it’s about your accomplishments and you’re the underachieving one you will question your identity.

The documentary starts with the idea of being all about The National and how Tom is going to make a documentary about his brother’s famous band. Tom walks in and out of stores talking, awkwardly, to random people about his brother to see if they’ve ever heard about him or the band. The goal is to document the bands tour but his style of shaky camera work, usually seen in home movies by children, and awkward questioning of the band mates creates doubt in the viewer’s head. As the tour goes on Tom slacks more and more but his attitude and laid back style make him relatable. He is fired from the tour and the filming picks back up with him working at his brother’s house. Tom’s conversations with his parents are what reveal his identity. He was the lesser growing up and while his brother was referred to as “the golden child”, while Tom showed his artsy and creative side. These talks are what truly allow Tom to see that he may not be a famous musician but that that isn’t his identity. He realizes that he doesn’t need to stay in his brother’s shadow and that he can create his own.

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