Sundance 2022: Eight short films emphasize excellent range of options featuring the best of international filmmaking

This year’s Sundance Film Festival’s shorts offerings are filled with plenty of excellent options. The 59 short films for the 2022 program were selected from a record 10,374 submissions. Of these submissions, 4,701 were from the U.S., and 5,673 were international, representing 26 countries. The Utah Review selected eight shorts from around the world to … 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

Sundance 2022: To The End absorbing, highly informative chronicle of grassroots activism for the Green New Deal

The story of grassroots political activism that electrified Rachel Lears’ Documentary Knock Down The House, which won the Festival Favorite Award at Sundance in 2019 continues with a new chapter in To The End, the director’s excellent chronicle of the efforts to put the Green New Deal at the center of climate policy in American … Read more

Sundance 2022: Filmed in Utah, Summering smart coming-of-age story with horror, fantasy mixed for an ideal Sundance Kids offering

The Sundance Kids offering of Summering, directed by James Ponsoldt which he wrote with Benjamin Percy, is a smart mix of tropes from fantasy, horror and the fully liberated imaginations of smart children, as specifically embodied in a quartet of girls who worry that their tight circle of friendship is about to be broken as … Read more

Sundance 2022: Mija passionate, inspiring documentary about immigration, music, social change, entrepreneurial resilience

In less than a handful of years, Doris Muñoz quickly established her credentials in the music industry, particularly in artist management. Her intergenerational connections to music bridged the classics of rachera and boleros to the legends of Juan Gabriel and Los Panchos, and recently to indie first-generation Mexican-American pop artists such as Cuco, Kali Uchis … Read more

Sundance 2022: Maika, Vietnam’s first science fiction film, generous warm-hearted addition to Sundance Kids program

Yes, spicy kimchi is a very good foil when youngsters are trying to fend off the goofy yet sinister bad guys. In Maika, the generously warm-hearted science fiction film premiering in this year’s Sundance Kids program, the characters shine with delight, as they easily transcend some of the film’s madcap chase scenes, making Vietnam’s first … Read more

Sundance 2022: The Mission documentary balanced, enlightening, realistic chronicle of four LDS missionaries in Finland

There are more Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) living in tiny Nephi, Utah than there are in Finland. Kai, one of the missionaries profiled in Tania Anderson’s feature-length debut documentary The Mission (Danish Bear Productions) mentions that 1 in every 57 Finnish citizens is a Mormon. Ahead of his … Read more