Posts Tagged ‘Documentary’

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

—The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

– – – – – – – – – –

I recently viewed Amir Bar-Lev’s 2007 documentary, My Kid Could Paint That. It’s a compelling work that’s as painful to watch as a car wreck. It starts out as a fairly straight-forward narrative of how one anonymous little girl becomes the center of a scary media circus. However, more is afoot. Is it a story about the myth of genius? Is it a story about the meaning of abstract art? Is it a story about the role of media in the selling of art? Is it a story about art market mythology? Is it a story about parents manipulating their kid? Is it the story of a kid whose behavior changes because the camera is there? Is it a story about how the media exploits the story to create more stories? Is it a story where there is no “true” story? Is it a story about the documentarian who becomes part of the story? Is it a story about the failure of the documentary to fulfill its ethical mandate? Yes. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Several weeks ago I attended the NYC premiere of a film called “Slingshot Hip Hop” at MoMA. It’s a feature length documentary film produced by first-time director Jackie Reem Salloum. It may have been her first film, but you would never know if she didn’t say so—in front of a sold-out theater. Through cinéma vérité scenes and MTV-style animations, “Slingshot” allows the music of resistance to reveal itself as a character in its own right. This cultural remedy for a severely oppressed people has been seen before in film—but not coming out of Palestine.

Slingshot Hip HopWhile there are quite a few documentaries dedicated to the conflict in Israel / Palestine, this one takes a fairly unique approach by gravitating toward a very Palestine-centered viewpoint. Yet it doesn’t come off as propagandistic. The audience watched as DAM, Palestinian Rapperz (PR) and Arapeyat overcome the obstacles of living in occupied lands. (more…)

Read Full Post »

One of my fellow students in the Integrated Media Arts MFA program at Hunter College, Jonas Pariente, is in India this year to document a remarkable Jewish community, Bene Israel. The community has been in continuous residence for over 2,000 years and is believed to be the oldest of its kind in India. They claim descendence from 14 Palestinian Jews who came to India after their ship was wrecked in 175 B.C.E. Not surprisingly, Bene Israel’s connection to Jewish traditions and practices became attenuated over the centuries. In the 1700s, British missionaries discovered them and reported on the community’s observance of three basic Jewish practices: circumcision, observing Saturday as a day of rest and the recitation of a portion of “Shema Israel.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: