Saturday, February 11, 2012

Academy Nominated Doc Shorts - WOW, WOW, WOW.

What a program.

We were joking going into it that we were going to be confronted 130 minutes of heavy sadness.  Watching documentary film is often (and fairly, for the most part) branded as a very serious endeavor.  One could say that holds true for almost all things Academy-nominated, really.

And this year's crop were surely no exception, but there was a strong undercurrent of hope that united them, as well.

Only four of the five nominees were shown, but it was still over two hours of outstanding non-fiction.  I would not fight any one of those films (which ranged from 22 to 40 minutes in length) winning the big prize.  

Two rose above the rest - one for the tremendous courage of its participants (Saving Face) and the other for its ability to poetically show overwhelming suffering being slowly overcome by new life, and dreams for the future of a country and people (The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom).

I kept thinking of my good friend Shiri during the latter film, mainly because I think she'll really like it, and just because I truly found it to be one of the best documentaries I've seen in  a very long time - and I've seen a lot of great documentaries.  I'm bummed she didn't come along.

It mind sound trite, but it's true - I thought quite a lot while I was watching about how lucky we are to be mostly safe and happy if at times troubled by minor setbacks and inconveniences. There is unimaginable suffering in the lives of others - and real strength that I can say for near certainty I'd be unable to display in a similar situation.

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