2 February 2013 | MartinHafer
Not among by favorite of the nominees, but still quite good.
Today I went to a special showing of the Academy Award Nominated Documentary Shorts. Surprisingly, all five of the nominees were very good. Not as surprising is that ALL were incredibly depressing films. After they ended, I wondered how many depressed folks see these five and then begin having suicidal thoughts! Yes, they were that depressing. Now having a depressing documentary is not a bad thing--often the films are about social problems and being depressing isn't bad. But ALL of them being depressing? Next year I wouldn't mind seeing at least one that isn't about old people waiting to die, cancer, homelessness, poverty or dying African children--like this year's crop! But, again, they ALL were quite good....
"Inocente" is a film about a very artistic teenager whose family is homeless. For the last 9 years, they have moved from sleeping outdoors, moving to shelters or living in cheap apartments--and none for a stretch longer than three months. Because of this, it is inspiring to see Inocente trying to beat the odds and make it out of poverty. The film is well constructed and although I didn't always love her art, she was very talented. My only misgiving about the film is that in some ways the film is a downer--as it's hard to care too much about the family because of the abusiveness in the home. Plus, in the end, the epilogue is a bit of a letdown. Still, fascinating and well made and a worthy Oscar nominee. Will it win? I doubt it, but it does have some interesting things to say about homelessness, illegal aliens and child abuse.
UPDATE: Well, my usual bad track record continues, as "Innocente" DID win the Oscar. A good film but I thought it wouldn't win. My friend who saw the film with me thought it would win, as "homelessness is sure Oscar-bait"! I guess he was right!