One night in a small and lifeless town, a slightly depressed and drunk man puts on a makeshift gorilla costume and rampages through it. He then awakens to news of a Bigfoot sighting in the neighbourhood. Embarrassed yet intrigued by the attention it brought, he decided to see what happens next. As the most exciting event in decades, the accidental hoax brought interest in the town. Folks started capitalising on the suburban legend, selling tours, and the usual merchandise of T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers.
It even attracted a TV show, with its greedy host out for fame and fortune. As can be expected, folks caught up in the limelight started dramatising what they saw, with imagination running wild, to the extent that anything goes with their wild theories on what was happening. As the audience, we easily and unmindfully become one of them, hoping something surprising will happen next, as if we want to see the innocent ‘prank’ escalate, to see how it brings more ‘magic’ to their lives and ours.
A search party forms to seek the truth, while the audience struggle perhaps, with the dilemma of whether it should be found. Should the fake Bigfoot never surface again? Will the ‘magic’ brought dissolve then? Are the ‘good old days’ better? Should risks of being captured or even shot be taken by reappearing? At one point, the gentle comedy based on a simple hoax seemed like it might become a horror movie with mob violence, with humans possibly becoming the true ‘monsters’.
‘Pottersville’ is like a subtle fable, on the dangers of seemingly ‘innocent’ lies that can take on lives of their own when left unchecked, when more and more become at stake. It is human-nature, to be drawn to mystery, wonder, curiosity and even, to some extent perversely, fear. These are what Bigfoot sightings stand for perhaps, as a global phenomenon. It is perhaps the desire to understand ‘what’ seems rather human yet not totally human, wanting to know the connections between human-nature and animal-nature. But let us not lose sight of all beings’ Buddha-nature!