The documentary Garnet’s Gold offers a wandering but scenic look at a man seeking some sense of accomplishment in his later years.
It follows Garnet Frost, a chain-smoking, fiftysomething British ne’er-do-well who goes searching for a treasure he believes he stumbled on years ago. (While lost in the Scottish wilderness, he found a staff that he claims was the marker for booty that’s been lost since the eighteenth century.)
Director Ed Perkins follows him on this crisply shot goose chase, capturing a dude who’s essentially trying to achieve something before he leaves this damn place. Unmarried and childless, the only thing this head-in-the-clouds man-child looks after is his ailing mum, who still hopes her darling boy will do something extraordinary.
The movie meanders (Perkins seems as distractingly lost as Frost), but it can stir real sympathy. The man knows damn well he’s wasted time not living life to its fullest, and the movie begins with his self-loathing narration: “You lazy man. You coward. Why didn’t you do more?”
While Frost goes on an unusual journey to find missing treasure, Garnet’s Gold ends up examining a man who’s been trying to find much, much more for years. For those who feel they ain’t done shit themselves, this will hit way too close to home.
Directed by Ed Perkins
Opens July 15, Cinema Village