Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Wheel Award for Excellence in Documentaries

Oscar night is long gone. Oscar picked "Amy" for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. I've finally gotten around to viewing all five nominees and am ready to weigh in on the question of which documentary should have won. Can I get a drum roll?

My ranking is based on the grades I gave the movies immediately after viewing them. In case of ties, I ordered them by my considered judgment today.

The envelope please. The winner of the Wheel Award for Excellence in Documentaries goes to...
  • Winter on Fire: Documentary of Ukraine revolution. Can't praise these people enough for their courage & determination. Stunning. A+

Congratulations to the runners-up.
  • Amy: Documentary of Amy Winehouse. I knew the druggie tabloid fodder, not the genius jazz artist. My loss. Time to rectify that. A-
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?: Moving portrait of a singer who not only reflected her times, but shaped them. Tragic personal life. A-
  • The Look of Silence: Picking at 50 yr old scab of an Indonesian massacre of a million people. Tragic. Inhuman. Inexplicable. Personal. B-
  • Cartel Land: Citizen armies on both sides of border fight drug cartels. Doesn't anyone wear a white hat? Ignores demand. Bleak. B-