Do you know what Benjamin Franklin was doing when he was in his early 30s? You know, the bifocal wearing, electricity harnessing, founding father of the United States, perhaps best known for his shout out in Puff Daddy’s 1997 chart topping hit, “It’s all about the Benjamins”? He was making sure that people got their mail. That’s right, the man on the one hundred dollar bill was fulfilling one of the essential functions of modern civilization and connecting its population from even its farthest of reaches by post. While modern postal workers are not as widely celebrated today, their work is nonetheless impressive and curious. In today’s Staff Pick Premiere “Long Term Delivery” from director Jake Honig, we dive into the comedic life of Agent 4505, a postal worker who conducts some of the most secretive and high level deliveries within the United States Postal Service and we find out to what lengths it takes for once lost packages to magically appear at a doorstep.
Agent 4505, played by Peter Smith is on a quest to track down a one Miss Clementine Abbott and deliver a package that has been in transit for the past ten years. It’s a mission that takes Agent 4505 on an Odyssey-esque voyage: entering into unique lands and meeting with strange inhabitants along the way that assist with the drawn out homecoming. The story is inspired by a personal experience for Honig. He tells us that after a lost package of his own miraculously appeared on his doorstep, he became fascinated with the idea of The Postal Service “being an essential and heroic organization that is constitutionally-mandated to connect all of us, and wanted to feature the kinds of people forgotten by the rest of the world.” Honig’s film treats the process of mail delivery, and the characters found along the way, with this same wonderment. Each stop along the journey is like entering a different world, all with a different tone and feel that sucks Agent 4505 and us, the viewer, into their orbits. Honig reminds us that he is “legally obligated to inform you that the United States Postal Service in no way endorses the content of this film.” Still, his imaginative approach to a behind-the-scenes portrait of something so commonplace in our lives, makes us think harder about the significance behind the people we interact with during our every day, or on a ten year voyage home.
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