This year's Oscar-nominated documentaries include stories about growing up in the midst of war in Ukraine, an assassination attempt in Russia, a tribute to an artist's social activism, a silent environmental catastrophe and an explosive romance. We tell you how you can watch them.
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LatinAmerican Post | Juan Andrés Rodríguez
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Leer en español: Estos son los documentales nominados a los Óscars 2023 ¿Cómo verlos?
There is a widespread perception of the documentary as a pedagogically oriented genre, concentrated on testimonials and supporting pictures, which seem to contradict the quality of cinema as entertainment and even as art. It is an idea that limits the circulation and recognition of excellent productions that address fascinating, urgent and important issues, with captivating narratives and excellent cinematographic quality.
By taking into account the filming conditions, which in some cases implies putting the personal integrity of the filmmakers at risk, browsing through hundreds of hours of archival material, contributing to its restoration, or making something memorable out of everyday life, documentaries they represent one of the most complex forms of filmmaking, which deserves greater recognition.
The documentary category at the Oscars may go unnoticed by much of the audience, but among its nominees, there are always some of the best films of the year. For this edition, some candidates present stories of the persecution of an opposition leader in Russia, the devastating effects of pollution in New Delhi and a relationship that transformed the world's perception of volcanoes.
These are the five documentaries nominated in the 95th edition of the Oscars and how they can be seen.
"All the Beauty and the Bloodshed"
Directed by Oscar winner Laura Poitras (Citizenfour), the film follows the career of photographer and activist Nan Goldin, particularly her fight against Prude Pharma for its responsibility in the opioid crisis in the United States. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the second documentary in the festival's history to win the award. Its premiere on the HBO Max platform is expected in the coming months.
"A House Made of Splinters"
Filmed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the eastern Donbass region, where the conflict has been concentrated for years, the film presents life in an orphanage located 25 kilometers from the border. As the war escalates outside, the leaders of the home seek to create a safe space for children who have left their homes due to domestic violence. It still does not have a release date for streaming platforms.
Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in August 2020. During his recovery in Germany, he began collaborating with journalists from the Bellingcat and CNN organizations, following leads linking the assassination attempt to the Kremlin and Putin's government. With the intensity of a political thriller, the documentary shows the course of the investigation, revealing in unusual moments the details of a dark political plot. Available on HBO Max.
"All That Breathes"
Two brothers, Saud and Nadeem, grew up in New Delhi, watching their relatives throw chunks of meat into the sky to feed hordes of black kites, following the Muslim belief that black kites take trouble. Years later, when kites begin to fall from the city's polluted sky, the brothers dedicate themselves to their rescue and care. The film is critically acclaimed for the subtlety with which it portrays the impact of accelerated industrialization on the ecosystem and the beauty in the work of those who seek to combat its effects. Available on HBO MAX.
"Fire of Love"
Katia and Maurice Krafft changed the way we see and understand volcanoes today. The French volcanologist couple traveled the world, collecting hundreds of hours of video with amazing images of eruptions and lava flows. With this salvaged material, along with their diaries and illustrations, director Sara Dosa pays homage to the love and fulfillment the Kraffts found in their shared passion. Available on Disney+.