Hugging 61 strangers you encounter on the street. Hands up if that would terrify you. Yep, same. It’s no secret to any of you that I struggle with anxiety, which made the premise of CK Goldiing‘s documentary even more fascinating to me. I’m sometimes scared to hug people I know, let alone strangers.
Describing himself as an overthinker, CK ventures out onto the streets of Sheffield to see if he can hug 61 different people before he hits the city centre. For someone who struggles with anxiety and/or overthinking, this is a monumental challenge. You constantly feel like you’re going to be laughed at, or mocked, or that the worst will happen. There’s a million and one thoughts swimming in your head – none of them good. Whilst, at first, you may look down on the premise with thoughts such as ‘What, that’s it?’, I can guarantee you the 23 minutes of footage is worth your time and energy. CK has taken a simple concept and turned it into a life-changing challenge, that in turn challenges your own perceptions of how you see the general public.
I really loved the little interactions between CK and those he encounters along the way. Not only does he ask them for a hug, he also asks for their name and if they have a message, which gives you a brief insight into their lives. You realise that they’re human, just like you, and nothing to be scared of. Maybe they’re going to work, or they’ve just finished at the gym, or they’re tourists. Either way, they’re human. And that’s a lovely thing to celebrate, through a little gesture like a hug. Even those who decline his offer don’t mock him in anyway, and proves that rejection isn’t always as terrifying as you might think.
61 Hugs: The Rehabilitation of an Overthinker is an honest look into one man’s life, and how he steps outside and makes the decision to go up to people and ask them for a hug. It’s clear how nervous and honest CK is, and I loved his approach to filming this. It’s raw, handheld, and very subtly edited. There was no need for fancy effects or an elaborate soundtrack, it was simply an honest, captivating and heartwarming story about one man’s journey to challenge his own brain. And it’s a brilliant watch, which makes me excited to see what else he does in future. It was his debut documentary film, so I hope CK is very proud of what he’s created.
PS: I would’ve definitely said yes to you, CK, I love a good hug!
You can catch the film for free on 61hugs.com, so I would absolutely recommend watching it. I have attached a link below, as well as links to CK’s own social channels: