In Brad Abrahams documentary Love and Saucers 72 year old David Huggins from Hoboken, NJ gives the appearance of absolutely 100% believing he was abducted by aliens many times and used for experiments and, well, sex with an extraterrestrial woman named Crescent.
He claims Crescent was his girlfriend. Crescent has a baby by him that Huggins must quicken with his “electric” touch and he winds up being father to a generation of aliens. He makes quite good impressionistic paintings of the encounters. The art and its origin in fantastic tales are reminiscent of Georgia folk artist Howard Finster with his visions.
Does a film still qualify as a documentary if the single subject of it spends the whole movie making assertions that are either delusions, lies, or metaphors/allegories inaccurately framed as literal truth?
“The people are savages. The space men are civilized.”
The doc has no framing mechanism, it’s an hour of Huggins talking or other UFO believers talking about him. We are never told whether the filmmaker is a UFO believer or not. This is problematic. If he is a believer then there’s a solid reason for the film to exist: to share Huggins’ experiences un-ironically. Acceptable. However, if the filmmaker is not in the “Yay Aliens!” camp and just happened upon Mr. Huggins thinking he would make a sensational subject, presenting him unfiltered with no explanation makes him a sideshow freak being trotted out for our amusement. If that’s the case, then Huggins is being exploited and it’s inappropriate, as well as terribly cynical. Is it possible he is simply a lonely old man either making shit up or truly believing his mad visions trying to make sense of a fucked up life that began in rural Georgia with alcoholic parents in the 50’s?
There is no real evidence of extraterrestrials visiting us, that’s something one must choose to believe. An idea supporting the current fake news trend is “I can believe what I want” and I’m sorry, but you just can’t. Accepting an assertion as truth requires a logical vetting process. Facts must be corroborated, repeatable, and predictable, they must earn their status as “truth.”
It’s human to want to believe. To understand the world directly in a locally explicable reductive way that can easily be grasped and manipulated without deferring to formal science. It’s scary to admit you don’t know, to be several complicated steps away from the underlying mechanism of the world, pressed into accepting the great unknown gaping maw of space with no friggin’ idea what’s out there, where we come from, or what happens next.
“This is a complex and textured game of Alien Improv where critical thinking is discouraged. ‘Yes, and…’ is the only correct response.”
We do get some insights into the social standards for UFO believers in Huggins peer group. The accepted protocol is that feelings externalize as “facts” by observers who tell their own stories expecting to be believed without challenge or need of parity checks, corroboration, or logic. They judge veracity based on their feelings about the reporter. This is a complex and textured game of Alien Improv where critical thinking is discouraged. “Yes, and…” is the only correct response.
That the tales never bump up against critical thinking could be an argument they are never meant to be anything but allegory, but rhetorically placing that frame around it would be admitting the emperor is naked. This would be absurd, except in 2017 it seems to be how the government and swaths of journalism are operating as well.
Huggins is shown near the end of the film watching an old Sci Fi horror movie from his extensive VHS collection. He points out “The people are savages. The space men are civilized.” The same as in his tales of aliens.
Love and Saucers (2017) Directed by Brad Abrahams. Starring David Huggins.
6 out of 10