The smartest move on Braun's part was the selection of the people he structures his film around. Ahmed Mohammed Abakar is a Darfurian farmer forced by the fighting into a refugee camp where he serves as a de facto leader in exile. The Ecuadorian Pablo Recalde works with the World Food Program, organizing the seemingly impossible task of keeping the thousands of Darfurian refugees from starving to death in a harsh landscape swept by dry winds and the marauding government-backed Arab tribesman known as the janjaweed (literally, devils on horseback) who helped drive them there in the first place. Adam Sterling is a young UCLA student and waiter fighting with admirable determination and stubbornness to get a bill signed that would divest state of California funds from the Sudanese government, as a way of not indirectly funding genocide. Producer Don Cheadle, who co-wrote a book on the crisis called Not on Our Watch, is profiled as well for his efforts, along with a briefly appearing George Clooney, to increase awareness and to pressure governments which do a lot of business in Sudan, like China and Egypt, to divest.
Continue reading: Darfur Now Review
What had the Academy so up in arms they gave this film a Best Documentary Oscar? Well, believe it or not, some 10,000 very such children got the chance of a lifetime: Escape. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport tells their story, the lucky recipients of a coordinated rescue operation (with the permission of the Third Reich) that removed Jewish and other ethnic children from the ghettos, one boatload at a time.
Continue reading: Into The Arms Of Strangers Review
This documentary is precisely what it's title purports to be, an in-depth and instructive look at movie editing that literally spans 100 years of film history, from The Great Train Robbery to Cold Mountain. Through interviews with a copious number of directors and editors, The Cutting Edge covers everything from basic editing techniques like the matching of cuts to modern editing theory as inspired by MTV and The Matrix. The film goes into extreme detail in parts, like when we get to see James Cameron's trick of removing one frame per second out of Terminator 2 to give it more momentum and realism. It's all a little bit insidery and self-congratulatory, but the movie works far more often than not. Any film buff will find it hard not to like.
Continue reading: The Cutting Edge: The Magic Of Movie Editing Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.