Searchers was screened at the AFI Docs Film Festival.
Modern day apps have become our all-purpose tools for navigating, manipulating information, and trying to understand the complicated world in which we live.
We use Google as a library providing us with access to all the information we need and all the possessions we crave.
We surrender to GPS instructions to map our destinations and let them find the best way for us to go.
We use other apps to calm us down, perk us up, manage our fitness programs, and order our food.
And some of us use them to help us find a date.
In Searchers director Pacho Velez aims his camera on a diverse group of New Yorkers as they try to use their dating app to find the right person to meet in the city. Whether they are straight or gay, most of them admit to being attracted to handsome men and women with beaming smiles.
If you've never used one of these apps, it's interesting to see the questions asked to make a profile, the kinds of information the user can swipe to see (pictures, Instagram accounts, videos about their interests), and how connections can be made via text, email, or phone. Two older men sit on a couch and discuss how the app is really their own choice for finding a date, even though it's not a very satisfactory approach. Two young women in their early twenties discuss how much to put down as the needed "allowance" on the "Seeking Arrangement" app.
Most of these searchers have been unlucky in love and yet they persist in the hope that someone is out there who is just right for them. Some critics of technology are convinced that far too many of us rely too much on these "editorial assistants" to help us live our lives. And they warn that soon there will be robots who may provide the sexual adventures and listening ears that we crave. The director's mother, aware that he's been looking for a woman to marry and have a family with, suggests that perhaps he might try a traditional human matchmaker.
Where have you gone looking for love?