A Review of 24 Hours on Craigslist

I finally got around to watching this film that is a documentary on the well-known site, Craigslist.
Overall, I would have to say that I actually didn’t enjoy the film all that much. Keep in mind that this is coming someone who lives in San Francisco and uses Craigslist a great deal, so I have a good deal of frame of reference. I think my dislike comes mainly from the fact that the director lost his narrative thread. I got what he was trying to do by showing all these scattered stories that represent the site, but he forgot that there is a single cohesive element to all the stories in that they’re all pulled together by the Craigslist website. Take them out of that context and they are just disorganized. I think that he needed a narrator and set steps to tell whatever story he was trying to tell because there really was nothing to follow.
Beyond not being very entertained by the film, I was really peeved that it just focuses on all these far-flung people, painting San Francisco in this far-left radical light. This element is definitely here and strong, but we have a lot of people running around in suits and others who lead what typical America defines as normal life. I think that the director thought that maybe these stories were too dull, but I think he missed the point that you need a contrast for people to appreciate the radical.
I’d love to recommend the film for others to watch, but really I can’t. While it doesn’t have the annoying over-sold grandeur of Michael Moore’s films, it fails at basic storytelling and documenting the website which is its subject. It was only that I wanted to give it fair shake in a review that I bothered to finish watching it. I am a tad worried about how their next film about Wikipedia will work out.
One little aside that I found amusing was how anonymous people thought they were through Craigslist. Oh how little the commoner knows about how easily they are tracked on the net if one desires…