Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

2019 Oscar-nominated Shorts - Documentary

We had an early Valentine's Day date night and took in the documentaries with dinner at a nice ramen noodle house afterwards. The documentary shorts can be a real endurance test. I think they can be up to 40 minutes each, so if you have 5 of that length...5x40=200 minutes = 3 hours and 20 minutes! It was close one year. This year it clocked in at around 2 and a half hours. It was such a romantic date! 4 of the movies were total downers dealing with death or racism or fascism. So here's the breakdown:

"Black Sheep" - I totally hated this one. A black teen in England moves to a predominantly white area and is beaten by the local "chavs" which causes him to be estranged from his father. He eventually joins the gang to fit in. The movie was totally race baiting but the underlying message was that people will do whatever it takes to feel wanted and accepted. Duh. That's why gangs exist.

"End Game" - If you have Netflix and are in a good mood, put this movie on to totally destroy any happy feelings. It's the story of several people with terminal illness and the choices they make as they approach death. Spoiler alert! Everyone who is interviewed dies. Kitty was in tears by the end. It was very well made, but we have seen documentaries like this before.

"Lifeboat" - A very well made documentary about the people who rescue refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Once again we have seen this before in recently nominated documentaries. It still is staggering to see the number of people fleeing Africa to Europe. It has this underlying anxiety of a dystopian future. A possible winner.

"A Night at the Garden" - The entire movie can be found on YouTube.. It's not really a documentary at all. It's simply archival footage of a Nazi rally in NYC in 1939 just 7 months before the start of WWII. I think this was nominated because if you put red caps on the 20,000 people that attended, it would look hauntingly familiar. There is no curation. There is no explanation. There is no narration. How this classifies as a "documentary," I don't know.

"Period. End of Sentence" - My pick for winner simply because it was the only uplifting story which was told very well. In India, women have to deal with their periods in whatever way they can. There is a lack of sex education and there is still lots of myth and mysticism behind "that time of the month." A cottage industry pops up where women in rural areas can make their own pads and even sell them to retailers. I think this movie will really resonate now especially with the whole #MeToo movement since it deals with confronting patriarchy.
Tags: #metoo
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