Ellen Spiro's documentary production class at the University of Texas, Austin
Thursday, April 16, 2009
One Peace at a Time
Last night's premiere of Turk Pipkin's One Peace at a Time was really interesting. While I did like the film and the topics it covered, it felt like it was all too much. The subjects were all so broad that it was difficult to get a clear sense of the point Pipkin was trying to make. Each individual right presented by the children writing on the blackboard could have been a documentary in and of itself. Instead, we get a brief and broad glimpse of the issue in other countries and not much of an idea of what we can do as citizens to try to help.
What I particularly liked about the film was the editing, at least in the beginning. The introduction was, I thought, fantastic and I really liked the use of transitions. However in the grand scheme of things I think the editing failed in making the film a focused argument. The problems were just too broad and the solutions too big for the audience to really understand or be able to do anything about it. I think the editing could have definitely made Pipkin's points much clearer and focused.
I also liked the film's cinematography. The shots are beautiful and the film as a whole is stunning to watch. Pipkin's journey is amazing to watch however the point of the film isn't supposed to be his journey as much as it is the problems the world is facing. The fact that everything was shot so bright and brilliantly makes the issues that should probably be more sad, easier to watch.
I really did like the film, my main problem with it was really just how it was approached in the editing room because I think that's where the arguments and points got lost. Pipkin's voice over certainly helps out a lot but without it the audience would be completely lost as to what the film is supposed to be about since so much of it is so broad. Each section on the different rights we deserve as human beings was not specific enough for me to think much outside of what I already know about these problems. I think issues could have been narrowed down much much more to make the film's impact that much greater as well.