“Reporter” Review

5 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

Here’s the conundrum of reviewing Reporter: It’s self-serving for me to tell you how moving it is and what essential work is being done by Nicholas Kristof during his constant excursions to the darkest corners of the globe. I want to say he shines light on those corners (he won one of his two [!!] Pulitzer Prizes for his crucial role in alerting the world that there was genocide occurring in Darfur). I believe he does. But then, I want you to believe in Kristof’s work and in journalism generally for totally selfish reasons (my own profession is, um, journalism). Why should you believe me when I tell you Eric Daniel Metzgar’s documentary is not just good but crucial? Read the rest of this entry »





“Big River Man” Review

4 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

Martin Strel, the four-time world record holder in endurance swimming, is standing on a street corner in California, all 200-plus pounds of Slovenian glory bulging out over a straining Speedo. He tells passers by about his next endeavor, swimming the entire Amazon River, and he’s met with crazy stares and disbelief. But Martin doesn’t seem to notice. He’s done this twice before – once down the Yangtze and again down the Mississippi – so why not the Amazon next? To him it only seems natural. To us, he’s crazy. But it’s clear from the start that Martin isn’t ordinary…even if he doesn’t seem to recognize it. Read the rest of this entry »





“Rise Up” Review

4 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

Documentaries give the viewer a unique opportunity to take an in depth view at an issue or event. This was certainly the case with Rise Up a documentary chronicling the lives and burgeoning careers of three musicians in Jamaica over the course of a few years. Read the rest of this entry »





“Sergio” Review

4 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

As far as bio-documentaries go, Sergio is a new twist to an old format. Its heroic quality leaves the audience enveloped in the emotion the film projects. It has everything a film should offer: suspense, love, raw emotion, even a little bit of humor and scandal, not to mention a main character with movie-star looks. With all of these characteristics meticulously and perfectly combined, it’s easy to forget that it’s nonfiction. Director Greg Barker (Ghosts of Rwanda) takes chances and eschews the predictability most documentaries possess in his film about former U.N. worker Sergio Vieira de Mello. Read the rest of this entry »





“Forgetting Dad” Review

4 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

You’re 46 years old. You’re driving, and you get rear-ended. Three days later, you can’t remember who you are, your family, or even where you are. “Forgetting Dad” narrates this true-life tale of Richard Minnich through his son, film director Rick Minnich, and the turmoil his amnesia has brought to his family. But things aren’t all what they seem. Read the rest of this entry »





“Rough Aunties” Review

3 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

A little girl sits cross-legged on the floor, cradling a yellow teddy bear. Mildred, from Operation Bobbi Bear, helps to stretch a rubber band around the bear’s neck where the girl’s neighbor clenched his hands around her throat. The girl sticks band aids over the places he violated her, so she doesn’t have to say them aloud, then cries into Mildred’s shoulder because she is too afraid to go home.

This is daily work for the women of Bobbi Bear in Durban, South Africa, and one of the first scenes of Kim Longinotto’s documentary film “Rough Aunties” to grace viewers’ eyes. Read the rest of this entry »





“Necrobusiness” Review

3 03 2009

Editor’s note: The following is a review from a Critical Writing and Reviewing student at the University of Missouri.

Necrobusiness unravels a tale of deception, shady business dealings, lies and murder yet manages to entertain viewers with genuinely comical scenes throughout. Read the rest of this entry »








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