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Photo Credit: Farah Elhouni

A Database of Beautiful People

A Database of Beautiful People is a blossoming YouTube series created in 2018 of personal and intimate interviews with people from around the globe.

Its main purpose is to reflect genuineness through each individual’s personality and stories. It is simply an observation of ordinary people that makes us question the meaning of ordinary.

As two people who have realised they love getting to know others, Farah Elhouni, law student, and Prae Rujirek, teacher, have taken their interactions to another level. When talking to their friends, colleagues and surrounding neighbours, they have noticed their ease in turning small talk into meaningful, honest conversations, which they find worthy to store as memories and to share with others; hence, the creation of the database.

Talking about nothing, anything, and everything these completely different individuals from completely unrelated videos are exposed on their channel, and more are yet to come. Unaltered, minimally edited, and most prominently candid, these videos reveal the person’s personality in a way films do not usually tend to. Their behaviour, voice, and thoughts are crystal clear.

You can see how one thinks through their words and subtle gestures, how one reacts to certain topics, and how personalities can appear. Humans in their essence. Capturing each one in an environment of that person’s choice, these videos embody realness and intimacy effortlessly, and embrace the diversity and complexity of human nature through casual interviews.

Twelve videos are currently out, each very unique and the emotional aspect of it depends on the individual in it. Almost therapeutic, if not cathartic for the interviewees, A Database of Beautiful People breaks the barrier that the camera or screen creates. The presence of a camera can never truly be removed, but these almost-documentaries have broken the separation between interviewee and watcher with the help of the element of intimacy.

The audience views the film with a direct angle as if they were having a regular conversation with the on-screen person, but takes the role of the listener. In fact, the only reminder the watcher gets of not being with the interviewee is the creators’ replies which are scarce.

Despite the lengthy duration of these interviews, the one-sided effort and commitment they demand reflects a regular face-to-face commitment people take regularly. The observer is fully able to become invested and attached with the characters. Topics that range from present and daily activities, to childhood, to the meaning of love are discussed, some of which you do not expect to hear.

Starting with open-ended, vague or cliché questions, purposefully chosen by the creators, the interviews shape a story-telling session of a person’s past, present and many times prediction of the future. The project truly touches the essence of being human. Noticeably, the series deserves commendation for its simplicity contrasting with its intricate content.

A thought-provoking and engaging series, A Database of Beautiful People is a way to pause and listen to strangers’ lives from their point of view. Psychologically and anthropologically very interesting given you get to witness how their thoughts can lead a conversation from one topic to the other, and how they have their own definitions of life.

Check it out here.

Tags: A Database of Beautiful People, documentary, interviews, youtube

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