A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular ... See full summary »
Lucy Walker presents a view into a community that is rarely glimpsed by outsiders. The Amish community, tightly knit as it is, has little use for the "English" world outside. I was very intrigued by the premise of a film following young Amish people through the rite of passage of Rumspringa, wherein they discover what kind of people they want to be, and decide whether to join the Amish church.
The view given by Walker is largely unbiased; she presents the viewer with a portrait of several Amish youths and their decisions to join the church or to remain in the english world. The film focuses mainly on Faron, a youth who has gotten himself into trouble with drugs, and she does not judge him or criticize him. Rather, we see his actions and are told of his choices, and are left to draw our own conclusions and wonder what will become of him.
I found this film to be quite well done, and unlike some of the other reviewers, I don't think it felt staged or stilted. I found myself thinking about it long after I'd seen it, and wondering what had happened to the people whose lives it followed.
I recommend this film, and feel that as a debut, it is quite an achievement. Some of the moments actually reminded me of Harmony Korine's work; it has a subtle air of discontent and uncertainty. Well done. ****/*****.
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