AJ Sinker’s Balloons Over Plymouth is a short documentary about the Summer of 2010, when AJ and his two friends decided they wanted to attach a video camera to some balloons and then release the balloons over their hometown, to later enjoy the video footage they capture. Of course, nothing is that simple, and even the idea of a camera attached to balloons becomes a logistical nightmare. How many balloons? How to get the camera back? How to track the balloons?
Over the course of the film, we see the three friends, all of strong intellect, severely think and over-think the endeavor as their project meets with increasing difficulty. And while the question of whether they succeed is indeed a good one, and the curiosity about the potential video footage strong, the film is powerful in the honesty of the experience.
Balloons Over Plymouth captures that spirit of youth; of getting some friends together and doing something just because you can. It doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need to have a practical purpose; the act itself bringing together friends is justification enough. Recently, Super 8 tried to give a similar impression in the act of the boys working on their film (before everything goes crazy), and while that does a quality simulation of that youthful spirit and camaraderie, Balloons Over Plymouth is the real deal, and all the more memorable for it.
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