Documentary of the designing and creation of the Vietnam War Memorial. Focusing on the controversy that arose when it was announced that the winning design was submitted by a young Chinese-American woman. Since completion, The Vietnam War Memorial has become one of the most famous memorials in the US because of it's spiritual and emotional impact on viewers of the site. The documentary also describes other memorials Maya Lin has created, including the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery Alabama. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
This documentary film won the Academy Award for this category and because of that I decided to give it a look. It's a film about the career of Maya Lin starting with her design for the Vietnam War Memorial in DC through the mid-1990s. I wish it talked more about her earlier life and I'd love to know what she'd doing today, as the film came out a decade and a half ago.
As for the big design that catapulted her to national attention, this took up almost half of the film and was quite interesting. I learned two interesting things (among others)that she created this winning design while a student in college and that there was at least initially a lot of dissension about its merits. As I was only a teen at that time, I really didn't notice either---I just remember the profound impact the memorial had on many people once it was completed. The rest of the film concerns some of her other projectssuch as a memorial to slain civil rights workers as well as a weird glass project that looks reminiscent of a Japanese rock garden. Much of it consists of Ms. Lin discussing the creative process and her thinking behind her award-winning work.
Although this documentary was a bit dry, it was interesting and well-made. For lovers of documentaries, it's worth seeingif a bit incomplete. For others, though, documentaries are often not very popular films and I doubt many will ever see this even with its Oscarwhich is a shame, as it's well worth a look.
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