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Short in length, long in content

Friday 8 April 2011

Short Docs were generally very good.

The story Bye Bye Now!, about the history of telephone boxes (phone booths) in rural Ireland, is a hoot. Lots of amusing anecdotes about rural Ireland and how the village phone booth transformed communication there. Highly recommended.

Library of Dust is not what I expected. It’s about the discovery at the Oregon State Mental Hospital–the same one where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was set–of some 3,600 canisters of unclaimed cremated remains of inmates. The photos are remarkable, as are the stories behind he discovery and some of the descendants who have claimed a small number of the remains. There is reportedly an exhibit of the photos at Bohemia Gallery in Ashland.

The Barber of Birmingham was an interesting story about a barber in Birmingham, Alabama, who was one of the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights movement. The film introduces the audience to some of the people who are just faces in old news footage. The story is a bit rambling, but still worth seeing.

Last up was Saving Pelican 895. This is a straight-up nature doc focused on the rescue of a particular pelican after the 2010 BP oil spill. The level of effort expended in rescuing affected wildlife is remarkable, as is the dedication of the people involved.

All of these are good films, but I’d call out the first two as particularly worth seeking out. The program overall gets a Recommended, 3.5 out of 5.

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