Finders Keepers was warmly received at the SXSW Film Festival. It is one of those stories which prove that truth is almost always much stranger than fiction. There are many true stories – like this one – which no one would believe if you wrote them as fiction.
In this bizarre tale of how John Wood's amputated leg is accidentally sold at auction to Shannon Whisnant who has the screwball idea of making money by displaying it as some sort of macabre tourist attraction. The film actually uses this strange incident as an opportunity to explore the severely dysfunctional lives of both men and their families. Wood is a drug addict still dealing with the grief of losing his father in the same plane crash that cost him his leg. Whisnant appears to be some sort of unhappy narcissist who sees the purchase of an amputated leg as his ticket to the fame and fortune that has long eluded him thus far in his rather mundane life
The film makers take this material and while gently mocking the men's eccentricities also allows them to share their complicated stories. The film may even serve as a partial catharsis for them. Finders Keepers is hilarious. The filmmakers keep the story moving in a highly entertaining manner. Despite the entertainment component the emotions of the protagonists and their families are very real and their pain about the problems in their lives is also very real. Really the leg they are battling for becomes a strange metaphor for the aspects of themselves that are missing in both their lives. Finders Keepers walks the line between comedy and tragedy and does so delightfully. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into this film and I think I got a lot more than I expected.