Just had the chance to see Make Believe yesterday at the Los Angeles Film Festival where it was announced the film had one "Best Documentary." I can see why. In a time where, more often than not, documentary films are about making statements and arguments, Make Believe allows us to meet a number of young magicians, each one of whom has a fascinating story is a truly interesting character.
By focusing on youth who happen to be competing at the World Magic Teen Competition, rather than making it a documentary ABOUT the competition, the filmmakers let us take our time in meeting and interacting with each of the magicians. Offering no judgement while simultaneously avoiding any over-glorification, the right tone is hit perfectly to simply explore a world.
Yes, there's a slightly heavy handed message that magic lets the awkward communicate on a world stage...but they don't push it too hard. All in all, a great documentary. Let's hope I can see it on Netflix soon.
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