International Shorts

This afternoon, I saw three short documentaries back to back as part of the Documentary Edge Festival that’s on in Auckland at the moment.

The first, Smile Pinki won the Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 2009 and follows a young Indian girl from her rural village to a hospital where she receives free surgery for her cleft lip; a socially isolating deformity.

Notes on the Other is a 13 minute doc which encourages us to step outside the reality of the self and generate curiosity for the other by blending Earnest Hemmingway’s experiences of seeing a trampled Spaniard in Pamplona with a regular meeting of Hemmingway lookalikes that takes place in Florida every year.

The Solitary Life of Cranes is the most creatively inspirational film I’ve seen in while. It’s sewn together from interviews with London crane drivers and images of them at work as they talk about, funnily enough, what goes on while they’re not working. What they see in people’s offices and apartments, what they see of people coming and going to work on the streets of London and so on. While we don’t find out anything about the work these men (and they are all men) do, it’s sure going to make me look up the next time I wander past a construction site.

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