15 Days of Dance give viewers a backstage pass to the American Ballet Theater Studio Company. Choreographer Brian Reeder was commissioned to create a new dance and the entire making of the show was documented. 15 Days of Dance documents the day-to-day creative process of ballet. It also shows the special relationship between choreographer and dancers. It shows the daily practices, costume fittings, and many other aspects of ballet that are rarely seen. I rate this film a 3 out of 5 stars for the excellent video compilation showing the creative process. It however lacks much commentary of what is going on and the thought process that goes into everything.
Written by: Mikela Rindlisbacher
210 Days in Captivity is a short documentary about the experience of Matt Schrier when he was taken hostage by Syrian extremist group. Schrier was captured, tortured, and then he eventually escaped after seven months. His story shines a light on the dark reality that was found in warring Syria.
This documentary was very well made and effectively captured my attention throughout the whole thing. The story was captivating and the interview with Schrier was very well organized. I would recommend this documentary to anyone, specifically people interested in stories of war, capture, and escape.
Written by: Jeff Stolk
Sa-I-Gu is a documentary of the events that happened in Los Angeles, California on April 29th 1992. Four police officers were acquitted after beating an unarmed African-American male, which was recorded by a bystander. Outrage and protest filled the streets of L.A. soon after the verdict of not guilty was given. This documentary shows the violence and its effect on the local Korean women and their families. During the riots over $1 billion in property damage was sustained mostly by Korean-American shop owners. The Korean immigrants came to America to fulfill their dreams, but instead were caught up in the middle of brutal violence that cost millions of dollars and even some people’s lives. This documentary shows a different perspective of the innocent people that were caught in the tragedy of that event. A new light is shed on the events that occurred and took some individuals entire livelihood.
Written by: Mikela Rindlisbacher
Brother’s Keeper (PN 1995.96 .C66 B76 2003) is a documentary about Delbert Ward, an impoverished farmer who was accused and tried for killing his older brother one night on their farm in New York. The documentary covers Delbert’s story from the week of the night of the alleged murder to the final trial over a year later. The people of Delbert’s small town cannot believe that Delbert could commit such a heinous crime in cold blood and they gather together in his support.
This documentary covers an interesting, drama-filled story about a town rallying around a confused, troubled man in his time of need. The story is interesting to learn about, but I think that the documentary dragged on a bit too long. I struggled to stay interested throughout the whole film and I think that there was a lot of extra content that was not needed. This documentary had some parts that drew me in, but I did not enjoy it as a whole. I would recommend this documentary to people who are very interested in true stories about crime and the justice system, but not to anyone else.
Written by Jeff Stolk
Putting Stress to Work is a short documentary about managing stress in a busy work environment. The first part of the documentary goes into depth about the life of one busy woman, an event planner, in particular. The documentary then shows an interview with a psychologist who discusses when stress can be good and the point when it becomes too much and can be detrimental.
This documentary covers a topic that is interesting to me. I have always been intrigued by the idea of stress and the point where it turns from motivating and healthy to something that is counterproductive. The documentary begins to discuss some things that I thought were interesting, but too much time was spent on a very specific story that was not very relatable to most people. I think that it would have been better to spend more time interviewing the psychologist and less time covering the life of the event planner. I found this documentary choppy and uneventful.
Written by Jeff Stolk
Warrior Queen tells the story of Boudica, the first queen of first century Briton. After the death of her husband the king Prasutagus, she is left to defend the Celtic Iceni people from the Roman Empire, who threaten to take over their land and people. The courage to defend her people has made her a legend in Britain history.
This movie was gruesome in the depiction of the battles those people fought. The brutality of the war that they faced to defend their lands and people were greatly emphasized. The film realistically depicted the struggles of Boudica and her people as they fought for freedom. I would rate this movie 3 stars due to the brutality and various gruesome scenes of war.
Written by Mikela Rindlasbacher
When a car accident causes the death of his humanitarian wife, Bob Rueland throws himself into his work on the project she never finished. Meanwhile, Grace Briggs, a woman with heart failure is given a second chance at life. An act of fate causes the pair to fall in love, but being self conscious about the scar from her surgery, Grace refuses to tell Bob that she’s had a heart transplant. Yet this one thing could be what tears the two apart.
Though the movie is quite predictable, I definitely enjoyed it. It’s a great romance that actually has an interesting plot. I loved the dynamic relationships found throughout the movie as well as some of the religious overtones. A beautiful story of love and family that will warm your hear and put a tear in your eye.
Written by Reagan Fausett
Field of Lost Shoes (PN 1995.9 .W3 F54 2014) is an inspiring war film, based on a true story, that takes place during the American Civil War. The main characters are the boys of the Virginia Military Institute who were called to assist the confederate army during a trying time. Each boy has his own reason to fight, but they become a close-knit band of brothers who learn to love and support each other amidst the struggles of war.
This film is a very interesting take on the conflict that was the Civil War. I grew up learning mostly of the experiences of the members of the Union Army during the Civil War, and I gained the false assumption that the Confederate Army was filled with bad people. I loved this movie because it showed that war is not often as black-and-white as it may seem. The boys depicted in this film, even as Confederate soldiers, had very noble reasons to fight. The movie is a wonderful blend of action and character development and includes an inspiring love story inside of it. The film has a violent fighting scene that may not be suitable for youngsters, but is otherwise a very clean, uplifting war film that I would happily recommend.
Written by Jeff Stolk
Suffragette (PN 1995.9 .H5 S84 2016) is an outstanding portrayal of the passion of the women who were a part of the suffragette movement in Britain. They diligently fought and lost everything for equality. It’s a heartbreaking drama that focuses on a woman named Maud and the other women that she grows close to as they move their cause forward through the never-budging opposition.
This movie was an emotionally-moving and penetrating film. It calls the audience’s attention to how great their struggles and setbacks were before they achieved any success. It made me very grateful for the women who were a part of the suffragette movement and the sacrifices they made for me and all women to be able to have the rights we have today. This movie, its message, its actors, and its cinematography was outstanding and inspiring.
Written by: Hannah McBride
Culloden is the story of a battle that took place between the Empire of England and some rebels, which occurred on April 16, 1746. The English government wanted to show off its dominion, and the rebels wanted more freedom and to follow their leader, Bonnie Prince Charlie. The British command had a well-structured militia, a force that was well organized and well maintained, while the Scottish rebels had little of that. This documentary portrays the perspectives of the different names and people that participated in this battle. It follows their story, and the perspectives of both sides: the rebels and the Empire.
I gave this documentary 2 out of 5 stars, mainly because I don’t think it was very well put together. The acting wasn’t very strong. I may have this opinion because I live in the year 2018, and this documentary was made over 50 years ago, and I’m used to a different style of film. But all in all, I still don’t feel like the directing, acting, and filming of this film was done well. It did a good job of informing us of the events and circumstances that occurred during this battle, which I did appreciate.
Written by: Jeshua Osario