Last Day of Freedom (2015)

  |  Documentary, Animation, Short


Last Day of Freedom (2015) Poster

When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision to call the police. Living Condition: Bill's Story is an animated account of his decision to... See full summary »


7.5/10
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15 February 2016 | dave-mcclain
5
| "Last Day of Freedom" is a powerful and potentially important film which is sabotaged by the filmmakers' odd production choices.
If you like true stories told very well, but briefly, and you'd like to get a leg up in an Oscar pool, then this review is for you! In my continuing effort to see as many Oscar nominees as possible, I took advantage of the opportunity to see the shorts.TV theatrical presentation "Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Documentary" (NR, 3:00 – with 10 min. intermission). Here's a brief, spoiler-free summary and evaluation of one of those five films...

"Last Day of Freedom" (32 min.) – Bill Babbitt's little brother Manny came home from two tours in Vietnam with what we now call PTSD. After his mental illness costs him his family, Manny eventually finds himself living on the streets. Bill invites Manny to come live with him and his family, but when Manny is accused of a horrible crime, Bill wrestles with the extremely difficult decision of whether to turn Manny in to the police, and then has to learn to live with the consequences. Bill tells the story himself – as a simple line drawing. We see Bill's "face" and illustrations of scenes from Bill and Manny's past as a series of animated drawings. This film deals with important issues of veterans' care, racism and the workings of our criminal justice system, but its messages are obscured by the single point-of-view storytelling and the creative but distracting choice to tell the entire story through animation. "B-"

If you like true stories told very well, but briefly, and you'd like to get a leg up in an Oscar pool, then this review is for you! In my continuing effort to see as many Oscar nominees as possible, I took advantage of the opportunity to see the shorts.TV theatrical presentation "Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Documentary" (NR, 3:00 – with 10 min. intermission). Here's a brief, spoiler-free summary and evaluation of one of those five films...

The other four films in the shorts.TV theatrical presentation "Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Documentary" are… "Body Team 12" "Chau, beyond the Lines" "Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah" "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" We have posted our articles about each of those other films on their respective pages on this website.

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Documentary | Animation | Short | Biography | Drama

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