This is in response to a few of the comments posted below. (See comments below for more information.) I do believe, as at least one other person commented, that this is a very informative documentary. If it rambles a bit, so what? Let's give those rambling on a little bit of license to do so. After all, they were there and these were their experiences and, to be frank, they know more about their experiences than we do. (And if we don't want to know any more about their experiences, we can simply do the smart thing and TURN OFF THE MOVIE.) And if it makes them feel better to ramble on and reminisce, what's the harm? One day, we will all be old and someone will wish WE would quit rambling on and on about our experiences.
As for those "random Southern people" mentioned in an earlier post, if memory serves, those people were the people actually from the town where Harper Lee grew up. They knew her and her father. They went to school with her. They played with her as children. They shared some very personal experiences with the author which, when shared, lend a lot of personal and emotional depth to both the movie and the book which would not have been gained simply by viewing or reading. They offer a view of Harper Lee, and of the world in which they all grew up, in a very different perspective, a sort of "third person" perspective. And, as we all know, a third person perspective often helps us to see things about ourselves and our world, things which we would not have noticed otherwise--things which help us become well-rounded people. Similarly, these people--rambling and with their seemingly "pointless" third person points of view--actually help to make both the book and the film more well-rounded.
If the documentary had simply been about behind the scenes technicalities and about the stars of the film itself, I would have been very turned off. As we all know, the film which wishes to make a statement, as this one does, is not about the actors themselves. It is not intended to be a star vehicle, although that sometimes happens. It is much bigger than that. It is also not about the technicalities. Amusing and entertaining as they may be to learn of later, technicalities are what the finished film tries not to present. Instead, a film of this caliber tries to bring to life a human story and to make a statement about the human condition, whether to criticize it or to praise it. And it tries to make us better than we were before. Adding the Southern people from Harper's past, with their ramblings and anecdotes, only serves to reinforce that statement.
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