Category Archives: Documentary

First Position (2011)

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Documentaries should effectively draw you into a world where you otherwise have no real interest, and this is a riveting glimpse into the world of ballet. First position is a film that follows contestant for the Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition for youth worldwide. the competition offers scholarships and entry to ballet academies and companies. One of the nicest aspects of this film is the contestants it folows are extremely diverse, and each of their stories are just as compelling as the next. The passion is tangible and the unwavering dedication is admirable, it’s really a inspiring follow your dreams message. Directed by Bess Kargman, this film makes it easy to connect to the story and characters like a good scripted movie. It is an effective drama as it questions to what extent passion and following your dream is the right choice, but as it is an uplifting film it mainly answers this question with yes it is the right choice. It believe it would have been a more effective portrayal if it focused more on the struggles and harsh realities of dancer’s world.

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Bustin’ Down the Door (2008)

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“This whole thing of trying to break in and establish a sport – it took a very, very strong attitude”

This was one of those movies I randomly came across (on a plane), had never heard of it before and was rewarded with my decision to watch it. It’s a documentary on surfing, and really follows the men who established it as a sport and really lays out the foundations of the modern day surf world. It’s follows a new group of surfers that move to hawaii in the 70’s to follow their dreams of surfing. It depicts their arrival in the land of aloha and surf lifestyle, and how serious these men were about their sport. It’s a foundation story, and being able to get an inside looks at the roots of a sport is fascinating and really rare. It’s a really cool story, and is extremely honest in depicting their struggles in establishing themselves as outsiders to the hawaiians. It sets the scenes with in-depth candid interviews from the surfing legends and locals, really becoming an homage to their passion for the sport. The most memorable moments are the interviews where you can sense the depth of their passion and love for the sport, the bond they feel and their absolute dedication. It’s a great film, really interesting subject matter with an awesome soundtrack (personal favourite is Dreamers by Them Terribles) and awesome surfing scenes.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)

Image“I have no one to say ‘remember when’ to anymore”

A candid look into the real entertainment industry, this is a honest look into the life of an icon. Joan Rivers has become the joke and the face of plastic surgery, which she is very open about but this film shows what is behind the face. It’s tragically hilarious, and gets to the heart of what is important in life. In a business where you are never back at the height of your fame, there is a harsh reality when you’re only goal is unreachable. Some might not connect with the documentary film-making, but this film is hard-hitting, powerful and honestly quite heartbreaking. If anything, you will respect Joan Rivers for the legend she is.

Food Inc. (2009)

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“I think it’s one of the most important battles for consumers to fight: the right to know what’s in their food, and how it was grown.”

This is one of the documentaries that has always stuck with me because it has that shock value, and it’s relevant for anyone and everyone. A must-see, tell everyone about it because this is the truth behind the food we eat film. It’s disgusting, disturbing and just plain wrong. It reveals the secrets of the food industry. The sad truth being that unhealthy fast food is simply cheaper and easier to consume. It makes you never want to eat a certain way again, it will change your mind and it will make you read the labels – it is a film that will make you care. It leaves you with one final statement to take to heart: ”people have got to start demanding good wholesome food. and we will deliver.”