Breaking and Entering
What would you do to get into the Guinness Book of Records?
Official Selection, Thessaloniki Film Festival, 2011 Official Selection, Big Sky Documentary Festival, 2011
Benjamin Fingerhut was born and raised in Indiana. After graduating from DePauw University with a writing degree, he moved to Chicago and began making short films. An award-winning screenwriter, Benjamin has always had a fascination with the human condition. Constantly trying to get to the root of what makes people tick earned him the nickname "Mr. Questions" from his wife, and soon Benjamin made the inevitable transition to documentary filmmaking. He chose the subject of world record breakers as his first non-fiction effort.
I spent a good part of my childhood poring over the Guinness Book of World Records and often dreamt about what it would be like to meet the woman with the curly, long fingernails, the man with the beard of bees, or the man with the most cigarettes in his mouth. They were all fascinating to me. I wondered what they were like. Were they married? Were they billionaires? Was there a secret record-holders handshake? And most importantly, why did they do it?
20-something years later I set out to answer those questions. Over the course of five years I immersed myself in a world of finger snappers, basketball spinners, jogglers, phone book rippers, and grape catchers, and I found that behind these (sometimes ridiculous) records were very human beings and the stories that unfolded surprised me. I was not only struck by their dedication, hard work, passion and drive, but there were also tear-jerking moments of sadness and sacrifice that I didnt expect. The result is a quirky, funny, happy, sad, and inspirational story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.