"Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" This was HBO's entry this year. It was slickly produced and very emotional, but not necessarily what I would call a "documentary." If you stick a camera into the faces of people dealing with crisis, of course you're gonna get great drama. This film will probably win and the person accepting the award will make a speech about the crisis facing our service men and women returning from war with PTSD and the shocking number who commit suicide. See if I'm wrong on Oscar night.
"Joanna" I really really hated this movie. In fact I will say it was the worst documentary I have seen in the past 4 years. It's basically watching some stranger's home movies for 40 minutes. The woman is dying of cancer and wants to leave some record behind for her son. That's fine. The world doesn't need to see it, though. I almost fell asleep during this one.
"Our Curse" A couple deals with bringing home their newborn son who has a respiratory disease that will require him to be on a respirator for the rest of his life. Once again it was more of a home movie type of thing. The movie was from Poland and there were times when they came across as Eurotrash as they lamented how their lives were now oh-so changed as they sipped wine. The movie also failed in that they put small white text on a light background for subtitles.
"The Reaper" A day in the life of a Mexican slaughterhouse worker. It's a great movie if you love long, lingering looks at blood splattered floors and walls, meat on hooks, cattle being herded into the killing room, and all sorts of machinery. I don't know what the message was supposed to be. How a man could kill hundreds of animals day after day, year after year?
"White Earth" The story of the effects of the oil boom on rural North Dakota. I liked this film because it had lots of train shots. *lol* The story was simply the narrative of several children from different backgrounds and their different perspectives of how oil has changed the area and their lives.