Congratulations, filmmakers, on seizing an opportunity, forwarding a distinct vision, and aligning with the right people to make your documentary happen. To persevere through what must have been an emotionally charged time, to recognize the faults and possibilities of the original film, to find the true story arc that seemed to elude the original film's producer/director, and then finish it all off with a skillfully edited production straight from the heart, on your own terms ... though surely exhausting, overall, it must have been a truly satisfying experience, start to finish.
The themes are simultaneously complex, broad, intimate, accessible and universal, with intelligent, tightly woven parallels between the two productions, and I highly recommend you all see it ... then have your friends see it. And tell your family while you're at it. It is right and good to be inspired by this kind of filmmaker's journey, which, in my view, is an optimistic cautionary tale.
The story rightly revolves around the leader of the pack -- producer Patrick Casey, a freshly minted millionaire secretly riddled with insecurities. "It works to fool yourself as long as you fool everybody else," he says in retrospect, on top a rooftop in Malmo (love that location and all that it suggests, as well as the accompanying score). For Patrick to recognize his shortcomings is admirable and demonstrates the discovery of an inner humility that would have served him well years earlier. But equally laudable, if not more so, are the people behind the scenes who, years later, whenever that moment presented itself, actually turned lemons into lemonade -- they did something productive with the material; they made it into a story, something positive, something cathartic. Watch and absorb, for example, the growth of the screenwriter, who, lacking clear direction from the top, initially struggles with basic questions about the original production, like, "What is the film about?", then turns inward to deliver wise statements regarding motivation, privilege, and professionalism. In his early screen writing days, I wonder if Billy Wilder ever felt conflicted like that.
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