Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2007. Rogues Harbor Studios, Fine Films, Shine Global. Screenplay by Sean Fine, Andrea Nix. Cinematography by Sean Fine. Produced by Albie Hecht. Music by Asche & Spencer, Chris Beaty, Ryan Dodge, Greg Herzenach, Beth Husnik, Alan Omerovic, Tom Scott, Thad Spencer, Janell Vircks, Richard Werbowenko, Al Wolovitch. Film Editing by Jeff Consiglio.
Children in Ugandan displacement camps rise above the tragedy of their situation by competing in the national music festival, using the art form of dance to interpret their lives. Sean Fine and Andrea Nix focus on specific individuals to a moderately successful degree in order to discover the details of their lives, which are incorporated into their performance, and there is a good balance between the scenes of dance as there is interviews and footage of the personal lives of the subjects. It achieves its aims of being highly political in a subtle way, allowing the stories to speak for themselves, though Fine and Nix never get quite beneath the surface; you get to know these people but you find yourself wanting to get closer to them which the film never does. Still, it is a memorable portrait of lives that are triumphantly making the best with the little they have been given.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Feature