February 9th, 2020


Oscar-Nominated Shorts - Documentaries

Time for the 2nd installment of my annual Oscar-nominated shorts posts. One to go!

"Life Overtakes Me" - A very slow and plodding tale about refugee children from Syria living in Sweden who suddenly fall into a coma due to stress. It may be a real phenomenon, but I call "bullshit." Why should such a small segment of refugees worldwide suddenly have this affliction. And it seems like the only cure is to grant asylum to the families so there is no more stress. Yeaaaaaah. Bad story. Bad film making.

"Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You're a Girl)" - Girls in Afghanistan are given an education which includes learning to skateboard which builds their confidence. I give it an outside chance to win. It's uplifting and not too political. It's nothing great, but it tells a good story.

"In the Absence" - In 2014 a ferry sank off the coast of Korea killing 299 people on board, mostly students. This film shows the disaster as it unfolded as well as the government cover-up that happened afterward which ultimately lead to the president being thrown out of office. Very heartbreaking but a little too straightforward in its presentation. It looked more like a news report than a documentary.

"Walk Run Cha-Cha" - The story of a couple from Vietnam who escaped their country and settled in LA where they learn to dance. It's nice and uplifting but definitely not a terribly interesting documentary.

"St Louis Superman" - This will probably be the winner since it was the most "woke" of the bunch. A black representative from St Louis gets legislation passed in Missouri making gun violence declared a health emergency. It's hip and slick and produced by MTV. That should be enough to get it the prize.