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  • Writer's pictureJaret Martino

THE OTHER FELLOW out February 17, 2023

The Other Fellow is a documentary by the talented director Matthew Bauer. In this documentary, Bauer interviews several men named after one of the most well-known British fictional characters, James Bond, or some fans who like to call him agent 007. What’s fantastic about the idea of this documentary is that Bauer meets primarily with men named after Bond and goes deeper into their lives, mainly about what it is like to be named after Bond in real life. As a viewer, you first think that the documentary might be about fame, fun, laughter, and the perks of having that name. However, the reality is a lot darker than that for many reasons. What’s so incredible about documentaries is how you edit these different clips that a filmmaker got after interviewing with all these people, asking them expose often vulnerable details surrounding their lives and making a story out of it. The editing here is critical to showing the viewers what it is like to be a James Bond if you are white or black as a man. Unfortunately, at first, I thought that race, sex, or gender didn’t have anything to do with the subject. Surprisingly I was wrong because the reality behind that name was harsh for some people and fun for others, depending on their race.

Throughout the documentary, you realize the pros and cons of holding a big name like Bond. Some pros for white men interviewed in this documentary are getting free movie tickets to watch Bonds movies, people telling them jokes, and one guy who copied the same lifestyle as in the film after his dad left his family when he was a kid. On the other side, a British lady who married a man with two different identities was illegal in England and was abusing her mentally and physically. The wife who refused to say her name creatively changed her son’s name to James Bond so the psycho husband can’t find his son, which is the fact that many men in the interview have mentioned that it is hard to find your name either on Google or real life through government data if your name is James Bond. So far, all those people were white, but naming your son James Bond, and you are a black person took the story to a different level and put James Bond JR behind bars. What happened to Bond JR insists on race inequality in the U.S. The black Bond was put in jail for a crime that he didn’t do, but because of the name, authorities didn’t believe that being black and being named Bond was enough to commit murder. All I have mentioned above is what happened after the British writer Ian Fleming was looking for a name, but not in Fleming’s wildest creative imagination had he thought about what could have happened to some people's lives after they fell in love with the character. According to Fleming, when he was expelling why he chose James Bond as a name for his main chapter, he stated, "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born" didn’t know what might happen because of this fictional character that he took from an American bird watcher who wrote a book about birds. What’s so incredible about The Other Fellow is that it makes you think about other fictional characters, singers, actors, sports players, and many more of how these people named after these celebrities live today. - Written By, Jamal Takla.

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