Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love and identity become twisted across the lines of the Internet in this documentary from filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Nev Schulman is a photographer who one day received a surprising e-mail message -- Abby, an eight-year-old girl in Michigan, had seen his picture in a newspaper and wanted permission to paint a portrait from it. Nev gave his OK, and when he was given a copy of the painting, he was struck by how good it was, assuming that the girl was either a genius or a fraud. Nev tried to contact Abby's family, and somehow ended up in contact with Megan, Abby's sexy 19-year-old sister. As Nev fell into an increasingly complicated on-line relationship with Megan, he decided it was time to meet her in person, but when he traveled to Michigan and tracked her down, Nev learned that Abby and Megan's family were not at all what he expected them to be. Ariel Schulman, Nev's brother, began filming his brother's adventures from his first contact with Abby, and in Catfish he and Henry Joost tell this strange story from beginning to end. Catfish received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
correspondence, identity, Internet, painting, road-trip