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By Steve Anderson | October 21, 2007

Just for those of you who aren’t quite up on your literature, the story of Faust is the story of a man who sold his soul to Satan. It became a fairly popular plot device down the line, for people to hand over that great immortal soul for some thing they wanted on earth. And now we see the logical extension of the Faustian bargain, Wholesale Soul Appropriation and Brokers, portrayed in the short “Harvesting the Homeless”.

Wholesale Soul Appropriation and Brokers, by the way, is a self-described “legitimate business engaged in the buying and reselling of eternal human souls.” Customers of WSA&B will use these souls for various purposes, such as insurance against their own damnation, or for rehabilitation to get them onto a better path.

It’s hard to tell just what “Harvesting the Homeless” is going for here. Is this a commentary on the nature of religion and the divine? Is this a poke at capitalism? Or possibly even just a commentary on the homeless problem in our country? Could be all of the above–who knows? We sure don’t.

The interesting thing is that very few of the homeless approached actually refuses WSA&B’s offer of between five and ten dollars per soul. Sure! some’ll say, they need the money! But then, it’s their soul we’re talking about. And yet, they may well have realized that there’s no way some schmuck with a camera who looks vaguely like Kurt Russell can actually buy their souls from them.

Though by the end, they’ll also throw in the interesting scene of someone interesting in buying back their soul, and that’s where things really change course. Is it as worthless as they thought? Surprisingly, not.

“Harvesting the Homeless” might just make you think about your place in the universe.

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