Sunday, April 6, 2008

Films, films and more films

This weekend was the sixth annual film festival in Lake Havasu ( I've always wanted to go so this event but somehow never found the time. I love movies and have wasted many a happy hour in my life watching, discussing and critiquing the film genre with friends and family. This time I got to do all of that with complete strangers too! My kids always say I can talk to anyone if given a few minutes.

Starting at 11 AM Friday morning, thirty films were shown for 11 hours each day of the weekend, ending tonight at 10 PM. The types and topics varied tremendously including feature length films, documentaries, short features and animation. While I would like to say I've seen everything aired thus far, my behind (no matter how well cushioned) just can't handle sitting in a theater seat for 11 hours a day. Thankfully, many of the showing segments are repeated, as most attendees drift in and out.

I loved the documentary on the Karearea pine falcon of New Zealand which combined history, nature and a human interest story of the still photographer made famous in the 70's for his work with these secretive birds.

Two full length features, "An American in China" and "The Flyboys" were both very good with the latter winning best in show. I had mixed feelings about "Beyond the Call" which is a full length documentary on 3 guys who bring aid to remote areas of the world. While they are bringing hope to areas of the world that other does not reach, my social worker boundaries had some issues with what struck me as paternalism at times.

The most disturbing film to me was a documentary on the poligamous Mormons of Colorado City, Arizona and their "prophet" Warren Jeffs. Although I have long been aware of this sect (not acknowledged by the Mormon church) , the depth of the abuse exposed by families who have left the church was horrifying. Although it certainly was not the most popular film of the festival, is perhaps engendered the most discussion.

Well, I'm off to peruse the schedule to see what delights today may hold. The best part - buttered popcorn and the movies are all free!

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