Aaaaaah it’s good to be back on the Oscar Picks front. As you know, I took a day off to watch the New England Patriots lose to the New York Giants in an epic Super Bowl, and now I’m back with my pick for “Documentary (Short Subject)”. Once again, this is an extremely tough category to choose, with all entries being of the highest quality, but hey, somebody’s gotta do it.
Disclaimer: I have not seen every single one of this year’s nominated movies, and I probably won’t for reasons that I don’t want to waste my time watching shit that was manufactured just to get Oscar consideration (I’m looking at a specific movie involving two former Oscar winners). It’s not like I watched every bowl eligible college football team before making my picks. If you don’t like it you can file a complaint here.
For my other picks go to my Oscar Picks Hub.
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
James Armstrong is a “barber, foot soldier, and a dreamer” who owns a barbershop in Birmingham, Alabama, that has been a hotbed for civil rights and haircuts since 1955. Taking place in the days leading up to Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election, Armstrong shares his memories of the early days of the movement.
“God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
This is the story of former actress Delores Hart, best known for roles opposite Elvis Presley in ‘[amazon_link id="B00007L4KP" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Loving You[/amazon_link]‘ and ‘[amazon_link id="6305837821" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]King Creole[/amazon_link]‘, and her eventual abandoning of Hollywood to become an American Roman Catholic Nun. I couldn’t find any sort of trailer for “God is the Bigger Elvis”, but thanks to Cathleen Falsani for posting the 20/20 Delores Hart interview video above. This is the second Academy Award nomination for director Rebecca Cammisa, who was previously nominated for Which Way Home in 2009.
“Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione
James Spione’s short documentary deals with U.S. Army Specialist Ethan McCord, his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and the incident that caused it: The July 17th, 2007 Baghdad Airstrike. It won the “Best Short Documentary” award at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Saving Face deals with the work of British-Pakastani plastic surgeon Dr Muhammad Jawad, who specializes in reconstructing the faces of female acid burn victims in Pakistan, a tragically common occurrence. His work changes these women physically and mentally for the better, as they are able to find an image of their former selves. I couldn’t find any trailers.
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen
The people living in Japans areas that were hardest hit by the recent tsunami are the subject of this visually impactful documentary. Director Lucy Walker spoke to survivors just weeks after the tragic event, and they were able to recall the horrific imagery of family and friends being swept away in vivid detail, all while cleaning up the debris left behind as a reminder.
AND THE WINNER IS………….
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom really strikes a chord with all who watch it. I really recommend you watch it, as well as the other candidates in this category.