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My Days of Awe and Grief, Part I: Dirk and Me (2004)

Through the use of black and white photographic stills and voiceover narration, an adult gay man looks back on his childhood friendship with a decidedly straight athlete. Growing up in the ... See full summary »
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Aaron Douglas
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Storyline

Through the use of black and white photographic stills and voiceover narration, an adult gay man looks back on his childhood friendship with a decidedly straight athlete. Growing up in the same neighborhood with fathers who worked together, their relationship evolved over the years, despite the many bumps of adolescence. They remain close today, although Dirk is now in jail serving a multiple-year sentence for robbery. Written by Anonymous

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narration | gay | See All (2) »

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Documentary | Short

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February 2004 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Excellent use of medium
13 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

Using black & white images, Douglas evokes a time decades earlier to relate childhood experiences. The long gray-scale rather than high contrast leads viewers into an internal drama--relationships instead of lots of quick cut action. Douglas's narration style fits perfectly with the careful use of still photos, creating a nostalgic remembering of the "awe and grief" of adolescent searching for acceptance and affirmation. The title words "awe and grief" (borrowed from the Iraq war slogans?) subtly convey the struggle inherent in surviving the teen years in small towns. Nothing in the sound track or imaging lets the viewers escape the involuntary intimacy of the setting. Douglas denies viewers the usual escape hatches of flash, color, fast action, driving sound, and high contrast, patiently and quietly showing the growth of a relationship that raises but does not answer life's basic questions. A difficult accomplishment masterfully achieved.


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