Tag Archives: documentary film

4.1 Miles (2016) Short Film Review

Over recent years, a massive influx of refugees trying to cross the water boundary between Turkey and Greece has caused chaos for the Coast Guard. They pull in hundreds of people per day. But they cannot possibly take everyone.

4.1-miles-2017-academy-awards-best-documentary-short-film-nominee-movie-review

Life on these waters are depicted as harrowing. People are separated from their families. People slip into the water and drown. And all the while the Coast Guard Continue reading 4.1 Miles (2016) Short Film Review

The White Helmets (2016) Short Film Review

In Aleppo, Syria, air strikes are a daily occurrence. The city relies on a volunteer group called the White Helmets who act as first responders on the ground after these attacks.

the-white-helmets-netflix-documentary-movie-review-2017-academy-awards-nominee-best-documentary-short-film

The Netflix original documentary short film The White Helmets follows members of this organization. Through a mix of Continue reading The White Helmets (2016) Short Film Review

Extremis (2016) Short Film Review

Extremis, a documentary short film from Netflix, is the story of a hospital ICU. As much as the film paces and moves like a medical drama, it is distinctly and heart-wrenchingly real.

extremis-2017-academy-awards-best-documentary-short-film-movie-review-oscars

The film opens on a patient, breathing tube affixed, trying desperately just to communicate. The patient can’t write, nor make discernible letters in the air, and can barely point at letters on a sheet of paper. All the while the doctor is trying Continue reading Extremis (2016) Short Film Review

Joe’s Violin (2016) Short Film Review

“How long can you live with memories?”

This is one of the first lines of Joe’s Violin, coming from the eponymous Joseph Feingold. It is an expression of his carefree attitude about donating one of his most prized possessions: a violin. What Joe’s Violin aims to do, however, is supplant that throwaway notion with the creation of new memories.

joe's-violin-2017-movie-review-academy-award-nominee-best-documentary-short-film

Joe’s story is one of Holocaust tragedy. At the age of 17, in eastern Poland, Feingold was taken by the Russians and put into a Siberian labor camp. Of the few things he had after his time in the camp his violin becomes, in retrospect, a Continue reading Joe’s Violin (2016) Short Film Review

How Political Should (Documentary) Movie Reviews Get?

The other night—over a round of drinks, admittedly—I engaged in a lively and animated debate over certain political issues facing America today. This debate, held with a good friend of mine, stemmed off of a discussion of a film that I had seen that day.

The film was a documentary by the name of I Am Not Your Negro. Talk of this and another politically-charged doc from last year, 13th, sparked a conversation that I did not foresee, and it made me think about the nature of documentary criticism.

13th-movie-review-2016-ava-duvernay-institutional-racism-documentary

In my review of I Am Not Your Negro, I lauded the film for reminding U.S. audiences of James Baldwin’s poignant words, saying that they are Continue reading How Political Should (Documentary) Movie Reviews Get?