By Dave B.
The Trader (Netflix) is another strong Netflix short documentary. Winner of the Sundance Short Film Nonfiction Jury Award, it depicts a day of the life of a merchant who purchases second-hand clothes and baubles from thrift stores in Tblisi, Georgia and sells them to villagers in the Georgian countryside in exchange for potatoes.
Considering that it’s only 23 minutes long, the movie does a good job of giving viewers a look at rural poverty in a country that many Americans don’t know much about, while at the same time showing that pleasures in life can be simple and that commerce is the lifeblood of people everywhere. The film also touches upon the somewhat predatory nature inherent in commercial transactions between people with access to markets and those without. I don’t know what the prices for goods and services are in Georgia, but paying five kilos of potatoes for a secondhand scarf seems excessive to me.
I like short documentaries like The Trader because I enjoy seeing a snippet of the lives of people who I might not ordinarily encounter without having to make the time investment that many full-length documentaries require. If you’re looking to learn more about a community that you are unfamiliar with and are short on time, The Trader is definitely worth a look. I recommend it.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.