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Friday, February 29, 2008
Poverty as Cinema: The Unforeseen
The Unforeseen neatly encapsulates the problems of the contemporary political non-fiction film: its importance as social document is everywhere countered by its poverty as cinema. Taking as its subject the damages (both to the environment and the fabric of communities) wrought by unchecked land development, Laura Dunn's film is content to present its arguments through typical talking heads plus archival footage methodology, relying on less than spectacular aerial and underwater footage to fill in the visual gaps. The lack of imagination of this presentation (as well as the inevitable rigidness of the argument) places the burden of interest squarely on the narrative, a burden which it has more than a little difficulty sustaining.