Sundance 2024: Union makes for well-paced documentary film, packing zip, punch and drama into story about independent labor organizing

In the 1930s, unions organized with tremendous success, eventually coming to represent more than one-third of the nation’s workforce by the mid-1950s. The same period saw unions able to shut down companies through strikes in order to force executives to the bargaining table. The General Motors strike in 1937, which autoworkers used to gain recognition … Read more

Sundance 2024: Superb, spellbinding and unsettling, Eternal You documentary critiques technology’s quest to ‘keep the dead alive’

Up until 2007, Facebook deleted the profiles of any deceased persons but in the aftermath of the shootings in the 2007 Virginia Tech University massacre, many students at the school organized a grassroots campaign to persuade the social media giant to reverse its policy. Students talked about how they turned to Facebook to grieve those … Read more

Sundance 2024: Documentaries predominate list on deck for The Utah Review festival coverage

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part II summarizes the films and programs from Sundance 2024 that are part of The Utah Review coverage. For Part I which is an overview of the state of the film industry in Utah, see here. One of the potential advantages in this year”s slimmer slate for the 2024 edition of the Sundance … Read more

Sundance 2023: Going Varsity in Mariachi elegantly amplifies cultural psyche and pride in beloved Mexican musical heritage

Mariachi might be Mexico’s most familiar music to global tourists, In Mexico, though, it is a highly prized musical craft, with many stylistic influences that have been incorporated and which have greatly expanded its originating roots in the country’s ranches and rural communities. The musical art’s merit has been amplified in Texas, where more than … Read more

Sundance 2023: Making the Utah production stage ready for film: State’s cinematic industry made big strides in 2022

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Part I is an overview of the Utah film industry in the current moment. Part II (tomorrow) will offer a summary preview of the Sundance 2023 feature-length and short films, which The Utah Review will cover. Like nearly 2,400 of their peers who are listed in a directory of Utah film industry professionals, … Read more

Sundance 2022: Sam Green’s 32 Sounds hugely entertaining, fascinating example of STEAM presentation into the wonders of sound

Sam Green’s documentary 32 Sounds, which premiered in the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers program, is a superb example of a cross-disciplinary  STEAM presentation (that is, putting Art into STEM). Intelligent as it is hugely entertaining, Green has crafted an ideal film that will nourish anyone’s aspirations for a career or personal experiences, which integrate … Read more

Sundance 2022: Last Flight Home unforgettable documentary of unconditional love, profound devotion to ailing father who has prepared to die

Generally, open discussions about death and dying in the U.S. are awkward at best and ignored at worst. It is often said that a son or daughter truly becomes an adult when they lose one or both parents. Yet, even when a parent has a prolonged illness and the inevitable is near, it remains difficult … Read more

Sundance 2022: Phoenix Rising and Evan Rachel Wood’s story hold up to rigorous documentary standards of long-form journalism

In the few short days since Amy Berg’s documentary Phoenix Rising premiered at Sundance, many have been discussing on social media the details that actor Evan Rachel Woods provided about the abuse she endured during her relationship with Brian Warner a/k/a Marilyn Manson between 2006 and 2011, most notably her description of being raped on … Read more

Sundance 2022: Aftershock captivating documentary of stories of tragic irony transformed into dynamic cause for reforming unjust, racist maternal health system

There usually are empirical realities confirmed by numerous sources and studies that validate statistics which make evident the rationale for major policy changes and corrective measures. Then, there are stories couched in those validated statistics that are so astounding in their irony that they compel immediate and widespread attention. In the captivating documentary Aftershock, which … Read more