Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we're looking at three documentaries and their narrative counterparts.
In the recently aired Confirmation (reviewed right here) about Anita Hill, director Rick Famuyiwa keeps the action to a very strict window of time surrounding the appointment of Judge Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court. What could have been a chance to explore the greater issues around Hill’s controversial moment in the spotlight ultimately becomes little more than a re-enactment that even so much as shrugging at committing to a belief that Thomas did or did not do what he was claimed to have done. The film only truly entertains when it goes backstage and peeks behind the Washington curtain of handshaking and decision dealing and by allowing us non Shondaland disciples the chance to watch Kerry Washington at work. The poster suggests "it only takes one voice to change history", but beyond title card lip service at film's end, they never explore this claim.
This isn’t an unfamiliar place for a film about Anita Hill since Freida Lee Mock’s documentary, Anita (2013), also suffered from a similarly narrow focus. Disappointing, really, since Hill and her story are fascinating and still so very relevant today as they were in 1991. [More...]