We have been coming out to the Sundance Film Festival for a few years. It’s a really an incredible event on many levels. First off it is extremely well run and if you think about the programming of any event and this one runs for two weeks with movies, events and panels it is extraordinary. As someone who is only a filmgoer who has nothing to do with the industry it is really insightful and stimulating to see so many independent films and hear the people behind them speak passionately about their work and artistic process.
We saw 3 films a day. The first day we saw Blindspotting, Monsters and Men and The Kindergarten Teacher. The first two drive home the issues of race relations in our country. My guess is we will see more of these films in the years to come from people who have had to probably work harder and deal with discrimination in ways that is unacceptable.
The next day we saw Eighth Grade, The Tale, and Wildlife. Eighth Grade is about a young girl in her last week of middle school. The trials and tribulations and what it looks like today with social media playing a big role. The Tale was so powerful that I am still thinking about the film. The writer and director Jennifer Fox tells a story about herself. After reading a paper she wrote at 12 years old brings back memories of being sexually abused at 11. Wildlife is Paul Dano’s directing debut based on a Richard Ford book. An extremely beautiful film about a family in the 50s living in Montana.
Day 3 we saw Yardie, Blaze, and Burden. Yardie which was about gangs from Jamacia that then finish off their problems in London was not for me. Blaze, directed by Ethan Hawke, is the story of Blaze Foley, a country singer/writer who died too young and the story of his life. I suspect we will see Burden in the theaters this year. It is a true story of a KKK white supremacist who falls in love, quits the Klan and slowly starts to see how hatred is not the path he wants to follow.
I am not sure I can handle more than 9 movies in 3 days. It is a lot to take in, a lot of chairs to sit in and of course a lot of popcorn to eat.