Meeting Jim is a feature length documentary about a journey back to the lifetime of Jim Haynes, an extraordinary 83-year-old man who grabbed with heart and soul the spirit of the 60s and continued to carry it throughout his life.
This journey becomes also a physical one when he takes a train from the city of Paris, where he lives, to London and Edinburgh, the cities where he left his unique mark. A journey that will not only bring out his past and memories, but also his carefully preserved collection of human interconnections.
The idea of making a documentary about Jim Haynes, who, according to The Guardian is the ‘founder of the social network’, was developed at one of Jim’s regular Sunday gatherings. His house(s) have become synonymous with the birth of many projects, a home for the formation of artistic and cultural projects. Without showing any prejudgments, Jim has never frayed from keeping his front door wide open to thousands that have come from every corner of the world. Not locking the door of his house is one of the most visible signs of how open and trusting he can be.
Spending some time at his atelier in Paris showed me that not putting up any barriers between himself and others was a decision he had made to manifest his philosophy on the principles of human interaction. I observed that the lives of those around him seemed to be going through a noticeable transformation, and through this, they were able to start to create and develop a new fruitful network of human relations and professional collaborations. I also believe that this rings true in various other iconic artists of the 20th century, such as, John Lennon, David Bowie, Samuel Beckett or Henry Miller, amongst others. I began to understand that this collective transformation was perhaps due to his naturally adopting the role of catalysor.
According to Jim, “if people could meet each other more easily, the world would become a better place”.
Meeting Jim was incidentally conceived under Jim’s roof and produced by a number of international filmmakers. Filming began with a Sunday dinner on 31st July and ended on 14th September 2016. We aim to have the film’s post production finished by February 2017.
Due to the increasing number of violent images we are constantly exposed to worldwide today, we find ourselves drifting further away from a positive attitude and feelings of hope. Spending time with Jim showed me that despite the dark course of events in the world, an optimistic approach is still within reach. While Jim can love others and life itself with almost childlike naivety, through this film, I hope to be able to offer people a more hopeful way of seeing things by using Jim’s life as an example.