Brain Pickings

Lost Roll of Film Finds Its Way Home, Virally

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On lost film, found friendships and the stories we all want to believe could be true.

In January, a man named Todd Bieber made waves with his story of finding a lost roll of film while skiing in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and his quest to find the strangers to whom it belonged. The original video, seemingly engineered for it, went predictably viral:

This week, six weeks after his quest began, Bieber has miraculously found the film owners — lifted by its viral wings, the video apparently made its way to them. In Paris.

Turns out the real photographer was never the two men in the pictures at all. It was their sister — a quiet young student, who was visiting the states, which is the European word for America. Camille’s ex-roommate in New York recognized that several of the shots were taken right outside their apartment, so she sent Camille my video.” ~ Todd Bieber

Admittedly, somewhere between Bieber’s day job as writer and director for the Upright Citizens Brigade, the forced hesitation of his voiceover tone, the all-too-hipster choice of analog film, and the Seinfeld-loving German hostess, we had to wonder whether the whole thing is a hoax. But a big part of us wants to believe it isn’t. And whatever the case, it’s still a beautifully told story of what we all secretly wish to believe: That human kindness makes the world go around, and that we’re all connected in more ways than we could possibly imagine.

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