Strangers in Boxes Image

Strangers in Boxes

By Alan Ng | November 17, 2022

Gabriel Diamond’s short documentary, Strangers in Boxes, presents us with an interesting social experiment. Set during the COVID lockdowns, Diamond brings together a group of activists from more than 15 countries to meet on Zoom and then lets the camera roll… uh, video stream.

Strangers in Boxes moves by very fast, feeling more like a brief overview of a fascinating meeting of strangers worldwide. The participants are from India, Kenya, Myanmar, Paraguay, New Zealand, and the United States (just to name a few). They are involved in causes ranging from climate change to humanitarian aid to social justice.

“…brings together a group of activists from more than 15 countries to meet on Zoom…”

The short walks us through a video montage of subjects starting with the question who are you, and what do you do? They then share their passions, with the popular mission being “fighting injustice.” Though they are called to a common goal in life, each one approaches it from their unique cultural and geographical perspective. The group soon warms up to one another and shares how they are currently surviving lockdown and the helplessness they feel in isolation. Finally, everyone shares pictures from their phones.

The point of Strangers in Boxes is clearly to inspire. As the group inspires one another, some of that good mojo will inspire its audience to engage in causes that help others. As we have been out of lockdown for almost a year, the timing of the short film couldn’t be worse.

But ultimately, the problem with Strangers in Boxes is that it quickly goes through the broad points of the individual and the meeting itself. So we’re really not privy to anything more profound than a casual get-together of like-minded people.

For more information about Strangers in Boxes, visit the Skoll World Forum website.

Strangers in Boxes (2022)

Directed and Written: Gabriel Diamond

Starring: Global activists, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Strangers in Boxes Image

"…presents us with an interesting social experiment."

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