Reviews

SHIRKERS

Sandi Tan’s Netflix documentary Shirkers (2018) is a documentary that explores the specific moment in many people’s lives when the creative fires of youth are extinguished by random circumstances. While the events that the film depicts are odd and improbable, Shirkers resonates far beyond either its specific locale or its specific moment …

CANIBA

Caniba

True crime is as popular as ever.  Mainstream interest in podcasts like Serial and long-form docs such as Making a Murderer is clear evidence of the public appetite for tales of murder, mayhem, and perhaps even justice. Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s Caniba—the subject of which is notorious Japanese killer …

HOLY HELL

Holy Hell Buddhafield

Holy Hell (2016) is a cult documentary that’s predictable in many ways but surprising in other deep and challenging ways.  After graduating from college, Will Allen wandered into a Los Angeles new age cult called Buddhafield in 1985.  The group was led by Michel Rostand—a well-tanned disciplinarian who rarely wore more than …