“Teichner’s film takes as its starting point a different queer trick of fate, a kernel of little-known trivia about The Navigator: the boat Keaton filmed on for 10 weeks off Catalina Island was formerly the U.S.A.T. Buford, a ship the U.S. government used in 1919 to expel hundreds of anarchists—some self-proclaimed, others alleged—to Russia. Notably, prominent radicals Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were among these deportees. The form of Teichner’s film is, like the famous movie-hall dream sequence in Keaton’s Sherlock Jr., almost surrealist: a split-screen juxtaposition of The Navigator and various archival materials chronicling the deportees’ journey on the same vessel. With its rich layering of film, photos, text, and sound, Navigators is not just a recounting of the past but an inspired cross-pollination of two distinct histories."
- Jamie Aylward