Searchers | Film Review | Spirituality & Practice

Searchers is streaming from the AFI Docs Film Festival. For a ticket go here.

Modern apps have become our all-purpose tools for navigating, manipulating information, and trying to understand the complicated world we live in.

We use Google as a library that gives us access to all the information and possessions we crave.

We indulge in the GPS directions to map our destinations and let them find the best route for us.

We use other apps to calm ourselves down, cheer ourselves up, manage our fitness programs, and order our food.

And some of us use them to find a date.

In Searchers, director Pacho Velez aims his camera at a diverse group of New Yorkers trying to use their dating app to find the right person in town. Straight or gay, most of them admit that they are attracted to handsome men and women with bright smiles.

If you’ve never used one of these apps before, it’s interesting to see what questions are asked about creating a profile, what information the user can swipe to see (pictures, Instagram accounts, videos about their interests), and how connections are made can be done via SMS, email or phone. Two older men sit on a couch discussing that the app is really their own choice for finding a date, even if it’s not a very satisfactory approach. Two young women in their early twenties discuss how much they should enter as the required “approval” in the “Find arrangement” app.

Most of these seekers have been unlucky in love and yet they hope that there is someone out there who is just right for them. Some technology critics believe that far too many of us rely too heavily on these “editorial assistants” to make our lives live. And they warn that there will soon be robots that could provide us with the sexual adventures and hearing ears we crave. The director’s mother, knowing he is looking for a woman to raise a family with, suggests that maybe he could try a traditional human partner.

Where did you go in search of love?

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