WELFARE shows the nature and complexity of the welfare system in sequences illustrating the staggering diversity of problems that constitute welfare: housing, unemployment, divorce, medical... See full summary »
This is not a film for anyone under 35. Wiseman manages to portray Belfast as some sort of hellish retirement community. The entire film is done without a hint of humor, and Wiseman seems to be taking these people's gray little lives as over-seriously as they do. Rarely do any of the people of Belfast crack a smile - it's as if living in Belfast has literally sucked all of the joy out of their lives.
This film fails on every level. As entertainment, it fails miserably. As serious documentary, it fails because it grossly distorts your image of Belfast - the youth of the town are completely ignored, and the elderly, the infirm and the retarded are represented again and again. As character study it fails because of episodic nature of the film - we never stay with any person long enough to really learn anything about them.
"Belfast, Maine" is one of the worst mistakes in the history of the documentary. A poor, poor film.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?