Finders Keepers tells a story so outrageous that it would be impossible to make up. Good thing it’s a documentary, then, and a fascinating doc at that. Our main characters are John Wood, a recovering alcoholic who has a fractured relationship with his family, and Shannon Whisnant, a delusional I-dunno-how-to-describe-this-guy; you have to see him to believe him.
They’re fighting over who owns Wood’s left leg. Wood lost it in a small plane crash, had it saved, embalmed it himself and then threw it in a smoker for safekeeping. When he was evicted from his home, he put the smoker in storage. When he stopped paying the storage bills, the unit’s contents were auctioned off. Whisnant bought the contents, found the leg and thought it was his ticket to riches beyond his wildest dreams.
To say that these two guys are odd is an understatement. Directors Bryan Carberry and J Clay Tweel followed Wood and Whisnant around seemingly forever, and we watch their lives change for better and worse over several years. The gaps are filled in with archival news footage. Just as compelling as the two leads are their families, who comment on the whole leg fight with outsiders’ perspectives and not a little head-scratching. Finders Keepers is funny, touching and mercifully short. Don’t miss it.
Directed by Bryan Carberry and J Clay Tweel
With Wood and Whisnant