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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Joe's Violin" is a 24-minute live action documentary from the United
States and this one premiered last year in 2016. It received a solid
deal of awards recognition and it is among the five Oscar nominees in
the Best Documentary Short category. This is the forth from the bunch I
have seen so far, the only one still missing is "Watani". I find it
extremely difficult to make a prediction who is going to take home the
crown this year as I would say quality-wise they are all very much on
the same level. I was not really stunned by any of them, but all were
pretty decent. And honestly, this one here is not only about the
Holocaust, which the Academy always loves as a subject, but also about
music, namely about playing the violin and music has been a very
successful subject recently, especially in the documentaries ("Amy", 20
Feet from Stardom, "Lady in Number 6" and there is certainly more). It
is also very difficult to predict because all the film (try to) make an
emotional impact, some more some less and this one here is certainly
among those who do more. Maybe it is sometimes a bit too much, but
nonetheless some sequences are pretty effective, like the actual
meeting between the Holocaust survivor and the young violin player who
received his instrument. Also with all the ethnic backgrounds in here
(not just the two, also the teacher for example), the film is a
statement on diversity and I would not be surprised at all if it gets
director Kahane Cooperman the Oscar.
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