Currently streaming on Netflix is the Drafthouse Films’ documentary The Final Member. Directed by Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math, the film centers on Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson, the founder and curator of the Icelandic Phallological Museum. The doc debuted at Hot Docs Toronto in May of 2012, played Fantastic Fest in Austin that same year, and eventually made its way to a proper U.S. release in April 2014. Painfully funny at times, touching at others, and charming throughout, this is a work that broaches its subject with a confidence and heart that effectively tears down taboos and promotes open discussion.
Siggi’s museum may be the only of its kind but, for all of its variety, it’s missing one key specimen: a human penis. Bekhor and Math do a great job of setting up the stakes that this void in his collection represents and once they introduce his would-be donors, the film reaches a new level and never looks back. For Siggi, showcasing a human penis in his museum is the culmination of nearly four decades of work. For Páll Arason and Tom Mitchell (the hopeful donors), the chance to have their members preserved and exhibited is an opportunity to cement their own legacies. The result is a picture that’s not only uniquely entertaining, but also one that’s keenly aware of the human desire to pursue our passions with the hope of being remembered for something.
Having done my parents proud by suggesting that you watch a doc about dicks, let’s get to this week’s Top 5: