Wednesday, February 15, 2012

30 Days of Oscar Day 22: Trouble the Water

Movie: Trouble the Water
Year: 2009

Nominations: Best Documentary Feature
Wins/Snubs: It didn't win - Man on Wire won that year, which I have seen and it's a better made film, though not necessarily a more worthy subject.   That's often the problem with the documentary short and feature films - it's almost like you're judging the subject as  much as the final product.  I've now seen 4 of the 5 nominees from 2009, and I still think Man on Wire was the best film. 
For authentic "documentary" feel, Trouble the Water is amazing - exclusively done with a hand camera and no producer.  Kim Roberts is a rap artist (one song she wrote about the experience is terrific) and she and her husband Scott spend a lot of time filming themselves and their lives in New Orleans, which became a lucky break during Katrina, as they have a ton of raw foot of the storm, and the days and weeks afterward.  It doesn't feel like a heavy handed film, or a political message, it feels like they're presenting facts as they knew them to be.  One friend who was with them was living in a halfway house during the storm, and lost everything, but as he had no proof of address left, he can't get compensation for losing everything he owned.  The main characters, Kim and Scott, don't whine.  Sure they complain about things being hard, but not in a way that makes you think they want a hand out.  After the storm, when the National Guard hadn't gotten to their neighborhood to find all the dead bodies, they started doing it themselves (the stink was taking over).  It feels very much like an authentic look at the storm through the eyes of people who couldn't believe it was happening, but did everything they could to make sure they didn't become victims.  


Yumi said...

Lady you are on a roll!! Am loving all these Oscar reviews. I really want to see Vera Drake now and I loooooove Gosford Park. And so many of these reviews are for films I've heard of but haven't seen, which is just great for adding/nixing things to my watch list.


Jess said...

Hey - thanks Yumes. Glad you're digging it. I know you'd LOVE Vera Drake. It's been a good year for finally clearing out a big chunk of my Netflix queue. I'm pretty excited.