Inside the “Forgotten Film” online community

Hobbyists are buying strangers’ used film rolls on eBay (which guarantees an easy profit for the sellers who buy them for cheap or find them for nothing at all) and undertaking the expensive, treacherous task of developing sometimes degraded prints, according to The Guardian. The “Forgotten Film” subreddit has grown from eight hundred Redditors to three thousand over the last three years, perhaps in response to the 2017 “mystery box” craze, with popular YouTubers unboxing collections of unknown and random items from eBay. Levi Bettwieser, an Idahoan video producer, runs the nonprofit Rescued Film Project, where people can give him their old films to develop, and as for the voyeuristic thrill of being the first to see an image out of the past, Bettwieser says, “Pictures are our defense against time.”