Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far .
Today, Aaron Neuwirth of The Code is Zeek is back to look at the Best Documentary Short Film Category.
Best Documentary Short Film
Here’s my take on the films nominated for Best Documentary Short:
A Night at the Garden
This chilling look at a pro-Nazi event held in New York’s Madison Square Garden is handled in all of seven minutes, which is all you need to understand what’s going on, why it’s a scary situation to comprehend as far as what American should stand for, and how history repeats itself, which can be just as terrifying. Not much in the way of documentary finesse, as it’s merely some footage, with text placed on the screen, but effective messaging.
This doc almost feels like a companion piece to the live-action short Skin, though told from a different angle. It concerns a black man who had to deal with living in a new town made up of racists when he was younger. The steps he took to have a life are sad to hear detailed, thought the dramatization only goes so far in digging into an emotional component that’s better understood in the main interview spoken directly to the camera.
Not the real story behind Avengers that I was inspecting, actually, this is the most depressing of the docs and, of course, the longest, as it deals with multiple people who are all going through their final days of life with the various loved ones and family members in their lives. We get their perspectives, along with the medical practitioners who are working with them. It’s effective storytelling that takes a lot of time to arrive at its inevitable conclusion. Well-made though.
There tends to be at least one short doc focused on the humanitarian efforts of a non-profit group, which also serves as a timely look at a situation being talked about all over the world. In this case, Lifeboat profiles a German non-profit risking the waves of the Mediterranean in an attempt to rescue refugees in rafts that have left Libya. It serves as an exciting look at a wild situation and challenges thoughts on how some could look at similar cases in other parts of the world.
Period. End of Sentence
This is the most upbeat of the short docs and a possible winner. The premise deals with a rural village outside of Delhi, India, where a group of women and a few industrious men are leading a revolution against the taboo topic of menstruation. Learning about how they are dealing with a once-a-month situation by way of innovations and basic teaching allows for good conversation, let alone better attitudes, which is ideal for something that’s a natural part of the human body.