The Oscar Documentary shortlist

Posted November 18th, 2008 by ingrid

Not bad, not bad. This list often causes some consternation in the doc community as great films are ignored in favor of the obviously not so great but this year’s list includes some really strong films. I, like many others, am disappointed that Margaret Brown’s assured and intelligent The Order of Myths is not on this list but I am really thrilled to see Jeremiah Zagar’s In A Dream on there. I saw In A Dream at the Woodstock Film Festival in October and was mesmerized and moved by it. I have a British allergy to anything overly earnest but this film manages to be honest and funny and full of the warp and weft of genuinely raw emotion without making me squirm once. I love beautifully made films that tell very personal stories about ordinary people and include all the yukkiness and beauty of life as it is lived. It is hard to pull this off and I think this is a film that succeeds.

You can watch the trailer here:

In A Dream Trailer from Herzliya Films on Vimeo.

Here’s the list:

At the Death House Door
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
In a Dream
Made in America
Man on Wire
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Standard Operating Procedure
They Killed Sister Dorothy
Trouble the Water

Congrats to everyone involved! And New Yorkers: The Betrayal opens at the IFC Center on Friday, November 21st. This is a tour de force collaboration between Ellen Kuras, cinematographer for directors like Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Michel Gondry, and Laotian-American activist Thavisouk Phrasavath and it took an incredible 20 years to make. Don’t miss this opportunity to see it on a big screen.

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