BAD AXE

By C.J. Hirschfield March 30, 2022 There is a serious discussion that takes place in the superb new documentary Bad Axe about whether the film is or is not a love letter to the eponymous town—or will its coverage of some of the town’s less savory Trumpian residents cause people to hate it? Not to […]

CLEANING TRAUMA

By C.J. Hirschfield March 30, 2022 I don’t know if a film completely focused on the business of trauma cleaning, or a film wholly centered on the complicated life of Sandra Pankhurst would work on its own, but when these themes are combined, the result is a compelling and compassionate Australian documentary that embodies the […]

MR. BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS

By C.J. Hirschfield March 14, 2022 Cinema junkies forgive iconic documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman for the length of some of his works that venture deep into American institutions; his most recent City Hall covering the government of Boston clocked in at four and a half hours. We absolve him because he is so good at […]

THE CREATIVE HIGH

By C.J. Hirschfield In 2020, more people in San Francisco died of overdoses than of covid-19—an almost impossible statistic to comprehend. So a film featuring people living in that city who are in recovery from addiction is timely and hopeful; what is unique is that all nine of them have had their lives dramatically transformed […]

 IMPERFECT: Defying Expectations

By C.J. Hirschfield If you’re producing a mainstage musical with a large cast, you can pretty much expect that there will be moments of anxiety, frustration, self-doubt—and even romance. In the excellent and thought-provoking new documentary IMPERFECT, all of this happens–and more. The more is because the particular production of Chicago-The Musical that the film […]

FLEE Brings Secrets to Animated Life

By C.J. Hirschfield More and more often, documentary filmmakers are turning to animation to tell stories—or parts of stories—that can’t be represented in any other way. In the case of the compelling new film FLEE, the storyteller spent much of his life since childhood in the shadows as an illegal Afghan refugee, and even now […]