The school gym-turned arena in Fake It So Real

  • The school gym-turned arena in Fake It So Real

One of the more admirable qualities of Robert Greene’s Fake It So Real, which opens Friday at Facets, is how it creates such a rich sense of place with such a mundane setting. The movie documents a small-time wrestling league based in Lincolnton, North Carolina, a town of roughly 10,000 located 40 miles outside of Charlotte. Like many American towns, the geography is dominated by strip malls and nondescript housing: the people seem to spend a lot of time at home or in their cars. Yet Greene senses how uninspired landscapes make fertile ground for dreaming and big talk. His subjects, as in his previous documentary Kati With an I, are always going on about the things they want to do. Casually word-drunk, they end up venting all sorts of local idioms and creating some of their own, which Greene records with anthropological curiosity. The movie reminds you of the important role played by conversation in shaping an environment.