*Updated after the Oscars were presented for the feature length documentary and documentary short categories.*
I was able to see all five feature length documentaries and four of the five documentary short nominees. With the Oscars coming up tomorrow, now is the time to offer my thoughts.
Best Feature Length Documentary
Film I think will win: O.J.: Made in America
Film I want to win: I Am Not Your Negro
O.J. was a great documentary, and I totally understand why it’s the frontrunner. But I Am Not Your Negro eloquently explains racial issues that our society is dealing with just as much today as it was when James Baldwin wrote the words that make of the narrative of the movie. Plus, I don’t think O.J. focused enough on the fact that what happened was deadly domestic violence.
Film that won: O.J.: Made in America
I won’t say I was surprised, and I also won’t say I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not that O.J. wasn’t a good documentary, it’s just that I Am Not Your Negro was a GREAT documentary. Let’s face it, O.J. Simpson was part of the Hollywood elite for a time, and Hollywood loves a story about themselves.
Best Documentary Short
Watani: My Homeland (this film isn’t available to stream yet and there weren’t any showings near me, so I wasn’t able to watch it)
Film I think will win: The White Helmets
Film I want to win: 4.1 Miles
I honestly thought that each of the documentary shorts I was able to watch was amazing, and I will be happy with any of them winning the Oscar. I found myself partial to 4.1 Miles, perhaps because it was the first one I watched. But I think for me it was inspirational – the boat captain the film follows sees a problem and does what he can to help those in need. That’s something I strive to do, but I’m not always as involved as I should be.
The White Helmets felt a world away to me, and made me feel a little helpless. Extremis is important and relatable, but again I don’t feel like there’s a whole lot I can do. Joe’s Violin is heartwarming. But still, 4.1 Miles inspired me personally.
Film that won: The White Helmets
Although I picked 4.1 Miles as my favorite, The White Helmets was an extremely close second and I’m happy that it won. The war in Syria has been going on for far too long, and the people who have been displaced by the war are now, once again, being persecuted for trying to immigrate to a safer place.