29 December 2010 | MartinHafer
Interesting and informative
This documentary film won the Academy Award for this category and because of that I decided to give it a look. It's a film about the career of Maya Lin starting with her design for the Vietnam War Memorial in DC through the mid-1990s. I wish it talked more about her earlier life and I'd love to know what she'd doing today, as the film came out a decade and a half ago.
As for the big design that catapulted her to national attention, this took up almost half of the film and was quite interesting. I learned two interesting things (among others)—that she created this winning design while a student in college and that there was at least initially a lot of dissension about its merits. As I was only a teen at that time, I really didn't notice either---I just remember the profound impact the memorial had on many people once it was completed. The rest of the film concerns some of her other projects—such as a memorial to slain civil rights workers as well as a weird glass project that looks reminiscent of a Japanese rock garden. Much of it consists of Ms. Lin discussing the creative process and her thinking behind her award-winning work.
Although this documentary was a bit dry, it was interesting and well-made. For lovers of documentaries, it's worth seeing—if a bit incomplete. For others, though, documentaries are often not very popular films and I doubt many will ever see this even with its Oscar—which is a shame, as it's well worth a look.