REVIEW: Strong Island [2017]

“This house is made of bones” The 1992 murder of William Ford wasn’t a story when it happened. Outsiders might not even have known it occurred since the grand jury decided not to indict the man who admitted to firing the rifle that put a bullet in his chest. Anyone walking by would hear how […]

REVIEW: Liyana [2018]

“And you are going to tell her story” There’s multiple ways to tell stories depending on the message you wish to instill. So when the subject you’re tackling concerns a country like Swaziland with a rampant AIDS epidemic and the resulting insanely high orphanage rate, you can choose a path towards the stark futility of […]

REVIEW: Heroin(e) [2017]

“Getting high on heroin is to you what it would be like to kiss Jesus” We too often see a problem in its worst form via “scared straight” videos that depict it in all its graphic detail for those living within its clutches. Drug use is the main culprit for this type of vehicle because […]

REVIEW: Traffic Stop [2017]

“I did not trust him” Some topics deserve the time to delve underneath the surface of what we see, know, and assume. The violent arrest of Breaion King is one such incident where thirty minutes is simply not enough. But that’s what director Kate Davis has to deliver the intricacies of what occurred in the […]

REVIEW: Knife Skills [2017]

“What I see is a tremendous amount of desire” One of the students at Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute explains how ex-convicts wear the stigma of that label as a badge. It tells potential employers that they are willing to work harder and prove their loyalty because anyone who gives them a chance at a […]

REVIEW: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 [2017]

“We are creativity itself” It’s not easy to depict mental illness with honest clarity or art’s cathartic influence as therapy, but Frank Stiefel‘s look at Mindy Alper entitled Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 does both. It helps that Mindy is an open, self-aware subject despite crippling anxieties. She leads his camera through […]

REVIEW: Edith+Eddie [2017]

“Treat everybody right” You hear horror stories of people who foster children in order to pocket the money they receive from the state meant for that child’s wellbeing and want to hope they’re the exceptions rather than rule. It’s easy to be cynical, however, and believe the opposite in this world. The same can be […]

REVIEW: The Road Movie [2018]

“Did we record?” I’d like to know the regulations for automobile tires in Russia because Dmitrii Kalashnikov‘s dash-cam compilation documentary The Road Movie has too many violent fishtails and gravity-enforced overturns to not have its audience infer the country as being riddled with bald tires. Some incidents occur in snowy conditions, but others don’t. Speed […]

REVIEW: Marwencol [2010]

“I didn’t know who I was” A thirty-eight year old drunk leaves his local bar only to be jumped by five teenagers who proceed to beat him into a coma. This is the beginning of Mark Hogancamp‘s life as he knows it. The incident left him with brain damage to the point where he had […]

REVIEW: Dawson City: Frozen Time [2017]

“What else is Dawson going to uncover?” I’m dating myself by talking about my days in grade school and the numerous films we watched on an actual projector synched to a tape player, but there was something about this form of visual information dispersal that we’ve lost today with televisions, computers, tablets, and smart boards. […]

REVIEW: Quest [2017]

“I’m trying to plant that seed and let it grow” It’s obvious that Jonathan Olshefski‘s documentary Quest becomes more than his original intent anticipated. This is what happens when you follow your subjects for ten years with infinite possibilities. What begins as a look behind the curtain on a couple (Christopher and Christine’a Rainey) doing […]