Review: The (Other) 700 Club

Directed by Juan Blanco Garcia, on a corner in Brooklyn, a loose community of delivery workers gathers to discuss their beliefs, goals and motivations while waiting for their next job.

Self-employed delivery work, the tip system in America, fair living wage and the treatment of essential workers are all extremely relevant topics today and The (Other) 700 Club dips into all of them. Delving into the long hours and minimal appreciation faced by drivers working for delivery apps like Uber. As well as how they create an environment for themselves to vent and unwind in-between working hours. Although it feels as if the documentary focuses more on the latter, capturing this moment in time of relaxation before heading back into trenches. It feels like a missed opportunity to hear from these drivers on how they’re treated, their opinion of the work and how it can be made a more safe, reasonable space to work in.

We live in a world where people can 24/7 have something arrive at their door with the click of a button, meaning that the expectation of being able to get what you want, when you want, warps some people’s perspective. Leading to a lot of mistreatment faced by delivery drivers but again, it feels like The (Other) 700 Club chose to instead focus on a brief overview of these men and other details of their lives rather than the specific experiences they’ve faced in their line of work. That in itself has its own value but it can create something quite closed off, it can’t give you the bigger picture of the job without the context to fill it out.

Instead what’s being created is more about atmosphere, it’s establishing a portrait of that vibe and feel when they arrive at this respite. It’s shot very well, there’s some classic city shots that help set the tone and it’s using a great variety of different angles and distance. It’s also well edited to add a good amount of movement and energy to it. There’s a superb use of natural lighting for some extra sharp shots that really enhance the atmosphere and add more layers.

The (Other) 700 Club captures the atmosphere of a few moments of rest for men stuck in endless circles of fast food and unappreciative customers, yearning for something better. Juan Blanco Garcia’s direction is strong throughout, there’s a big variety to the visual but also a consistently sharp aesthetic. However, it simply felt like it had more to say, though it’s a great beginning and opener for a larger discussion about how broken this system of delivery drivers having to scrape together a living wage through endless jobs.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

Screening at Big Sky Documentary Festival on 21 February
& at Ibiza Cinefest on 26 February

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