The impact of the decline of heavy industry on workers and their families in the Tiexi district of Shenyang, China, at the turn of the 21st century, documented unflinchingly by a fly-on-the-wall camera.
Elderly residents of a Toronto nursing home cope with loss, loneliness and other heartbreaking challenges of growing old, as the home's staff work tirelessly to provide an environment of dignified, compassionate care.
Chantal Akerman films her mother, an old woman of Polish origin who is short lifetime, in her apartment in Brussels. For two hours, we will see them eating, chatting and sharing memories, ... See full summary »
This Canadian documentary provides a candid peek inside an institute for emotionally disturbed children. The film opens on a striking crane shot of the facility viewed from up above as a car drives up, and as the film cuts inside, it is as if we are entering as guests. The camera-work is surprisingly intimate throughout, getting in close and doing more than just observing during the physical outburst scenes. This is, however, an observational fly-on-the-wall documentary, and as such we never see the documentarians interact with their subjects and there are no interviews or voice-over. This has the advantage of it leaving it up to us to pass judgment on whether the procedures at hand are effective. The disadvantage is the lack of background information, and it is a tad hard to have an opinion on what is going on when one does not know what the kids were like before coming to the institute or what traumatised them in the first place. Whatever the case, the film leaves an indelible impact. There is a section where a boy being tucked into bed constantly glances at the camera, but for the most part, the documentary crew remain invisible. It is hard not to wonder whether (for safety reasons) the crew should have intervened when one boy climbs on top of a giant cupboard, but the fact that the film is layered enough to evoke such questions with its observational format is something in itself.
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