Xy and I went to see Left Behind Wednesday night. Despite the title, it’s not based on the popular Christian fiction series. Rather, it’s a serious documentary about a serious subject: the abject failure of public education in New Orleans.
I’m loathe to criticize ventures like this. It’s one thing to take Hollywood to task, but when it comes to small, independent film, I usually prefer to say something nice or say nothing at all.
Nevertheless, I can’t help myself. There was a technical flaw in this film that really bugged me, having to do with aspect ratios. Some of the video looked stretched, so that people looked shorter and fatter. I don’t understand how the filmmakers could let this go. Did they not think we’d notice? I found it very distracting.
I feel much better having gotten that off my chest.
But rather than dwell on shortcomings, I wanted to praise the filmmakers for tackling a difficult and important issue, and doing so with passion. In particular, they did a good job of showing the connection between the problems with our schools and other problems such as crime and poverty.
I heard this film might be shown on HBO. I hope it is. People around the country would be shocked and moved. I wish they’d show it on some local channel 24/7 until everybody in the city had seen it. It is a great starting point for provoking people to think about this issue.
And when was the last time you saw Noam Chomsky and Ice T in a movie together?
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[…] And so it came to pass that Dambala gave it up in the pages of the Times-Picayune, to short-circuit the accusation that he was hiding behind his anonymity. His real name? Jason Berry. I did a double take, as did many readers, I’m sure. I knew that name. Berry co-directed the important and ambitious documentary film, Left Behind, which Xy and I saw in 2006. […]