March 8, 2022

Rub Their Noses In Reality

What I learned from Attica: Sometimes you have to rub the noses of the audience in reality.

This Oscar-nominated feature documentary at first seems like any other of the expository mode. It’s certainly competent in its reporting and intimate in its interviewing (always an important achievement). The cinematography is competent although the limited b-roll gets repetitive. It’s really the harrowing, first-person stories and historical detail that hold this film together until…

…the director Stanley Nelson drops the hammer on you in the third act.

You don’t get to see what a massacre is like. You get to see the massacre itself. And its aftermath. You get to see the cruelty as it happens.

Sometimes you have to show it all.

Attica and Flee are my picks to win. I’ll tell you what I learned from Flee next.

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