Posts Tagged ‘documentary’



BURIED PRAYERS is an emotional documentary about the search for buried items from holocaust victims sent to the gas chambers.  In 1943 one of the worst death camps was Maidanek in Warsaw, where before the victims were sent into the camp they were held in these open fields right outside.  After interviewing many survivors of the camp the filmmakers started hearing multiple stories of some of the Jews having buried their jewelry and valuables right in the field.  They were well aware they would never exit Maidanek alive, but in a final act of defiance they refused to let the Germans get hold of their possessions so they buried them in the field.  The film is about Maidanek itself, the stories of many witnesses from Maidanek, and finally the search for the items.

The pluses of this documentary are the witness accounts and the information about Maidanek itself.  There are heartbreaking stories from the survivors who were mostly teenagers in 1943 and lost their entire families – their parents, siblings, everyone.  Most had never spoken of what had happened in Maidanek until this documentary, and they were extremely touching and tales that needed to be told. (more…)



NO TOMORROW is a thought provoking documentary that covers a lot of ground and argues a lot of different ideas.  Its only weakness is that it perhaps presents a few too many ideas and does not have the correct case to prove their arguments.

AGING OUT is a documentary brought by the same filmmakers to Cinequest in 2004.  It was about three teenagers who are aging out of the foster care system and the trials and tribulations they were then facing.  The film focused on the resilience of each teen and chose to look positively on their future prospects.

But soon after that film was completed one of the teens, Risa Bejarano, was brutally murdered.  The killer was caught, prosecuted and found guilty.  This is where NO TOMORROW comes in.  For the penalty phase of the trial the prosecution wanted to (and did) show the jury AGING OUT as a way of humanizing Risa and pushing the jury toward a death penalty decision.  The filmmakers were not happy about having their film used to give death to an 18 year old when their original purpose was to bring something positive into the world.  And so the documentary brings its arguments. (more…)



FrICTION played to a packed Repertory Theater on Saturday afternoon, only to have director Cullen Hoback turn the audience’s heads inside out.  Those of us who know Cullen and have seen his previous films were perhaps more confused than anyone, but in the best way possible.  Billed as a feature film gone wrong, FrICTION will leave you scratching your head and wondering just exactly what was real and what was not, even after listening to the Q&A.  FrICTION is simply an enigma wrapped in a mystery and then possibly wrapped in bacon.  FrICTION is the kind of film that Cinequest is all about. (more…)

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