Hope and Horror Paint Portrait in ‘Small Small Thing’

Jessica Vale’s Small Small Thing (2013) portrays the complex picture of rape in Liberia through the harrowing story of Olivia Zinnah, who was raped at age 7 by a family member and who developed a horrible fistula as a result. Vale skillfully balances this delicate story against the troubled history and war-ravaged society of Liberia.… Read More Hope and Horror Paint Portrait in ‘Small Small Thing’

‘The Cummington Story’ Tells Story of Refugees and Their New Community

In researching documentary history, I look for mentions of women who have contributed to the developments and growth of the form. One name I found was Helen Grayson, who co-directed The Cummington Story with Larry Madison in 1945. The Cummington Story is a short about the integration of World War II refugees into a town called… Read More ‘The Cummington Story’ Tells Story of Refugees and Their New Community

Excess Voiceover Overwhelms ‘Tell Me and I Will Forget’

While Justin Salerian’s Tell Me and I Will Forget offers an interesting look at South Africa, the 2010 documentary suffers from the burden of too much voiceover narration. Tell Me and I Will Forget attempts to show South Africa through the eyes of emergency workers employed by both public and private companies. The picture reveals a depth… Read More Excess Voiceover Overwhelms ‘Tell Me and I Will Forget’