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Belfast, Maine (1999)

 -  Documentary  -  October 1999 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 125 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic

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Title: Belfast, Maine (1999)

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A skewed documentary of a small town
12 February 2000 | by (Belfast, Maine) – See all my reviews

Belfast, Maine is an extraordinarily well made documentary. You are riveted to the screen, drawn into the lives of individuals trying to get by working in factories, dry cleaners, bakeries. I sat watching, never leaving for the full four hours.

Now for the bad news. As a resident of Belfast, I couldn't help but see that a huge segment of the population was being ignored. Where were the professionals? I remember one doctor portrayed, on call in the emergency room. Lawyers? Real estate agents? Where was my favorite latte shop? Where were the hundreds of magnificent homes in our historic district? No. The director shut us out. He wanted to show what my boss refers to as "Hidden Belfast," not the one most of us see every day. I wish he had told me up front. The film ignores what Belfast has become over the past decade, a renaissance town, a tourist destination, with a beautiful waterfront, comfortable bed and breakfasts, and wonderful downtown. A place that two years ago the Cohn Brothers and their families (of Fargo fame) chose as a vacation destination.

Belfast, Maine (the documentary) all too clearly reminded me what a good director could do...by not showing certain footage (and other careful editing,) totally distort the truth.


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