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The 2011 Hamptons International Film Festival continues through Monday, October 17, 2011, but Saturday proved to be a very popular day for festival goers. With a packed day of screenings, it was frustrating because many of the great films and events (like TV channels) all seem to be happening at the same time, so it was really hard to pick and choose.

Mini Reviews

OK, Enough, Goodbye, is the feature film debut of Co-Directors/Co-Screenwriters Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia. The film which is in Arabic, with subtitles, is described as “…much a striking portrait of Tripoli, Lebanon, as it is the offbeat story of a helpless middle-aged man who lives at home with his elderly mother. When his mother, fed up with cooking and cleaning for her grown son, leaves without notice, he seeks out the company of an unusual mix of characters: a prostitute, a six-year-old boy, and an Ethiopian maid. This astonishing feature film debut is a coming of age story of an adult on his own amidst the landscape of a multi-cultural, modern day Lebanon.”

The film is a good film, and was funny at times, especially when the main character interacts with the little boy who no doubt steals the film every time he appears in a scene. Other times, the film appears long (although the time is only listed as 93 minutes) because the directors shot the film in more of a documentary style (they admitted this in the Q & A at the end).  A lot of the film was spent observing the city of Tripoli, Lebanon or the characters doing mundane things like switching TV channels and eating pastries.

Up next, playing to a packed house was the documentary, ‘Scenes of a Crime’.

Winner of the Grand Jury Award at the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, SCENES OF A CRIME explores a nearly 10-hour interrogation that culminates in a disputed confession, and an intense, high-profile child murder trial in New York state.  Police video-recordings allow directors Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock to unravel the complicated psychological dynamic between detectives and their suspect during a long interrogation.  Detectives, prosecutors, witnesses, jurors and the suspect himself offer conflicting accounts of exactly what happened in this mysterious and disturbing true-crime documentary.”

The documentary was preceded by the short film/documentary ‘You Have the Right To An Attorney’ that follows two young public defenders in the South Bronx with little time to clear their caseload and odds always stacked against their clients. This served as an excellent pretext to the film that followed.

Without giving away most of the storyline, most of the documentary Scenes of a Crime is spent observing the interrogation of the suspect Adrian Thomas and understanding how/why/ and everything there is to know about this process, but you will be left with more questions than answers. I’ll put it this way, no matter what your opinion is as you watch the film, you will be SHOCKED by the outcome. But I was more shocked that no one seemed to address the other huge elephant in the room. Figure that one out when you watch.

I’m not sure that this will make it to theaters, well because most documentaries do not, unless they are directed by Michael Moore (just kidding) but it will definitely make it to your TV/cable. I promise you that. It’s that good.

 

 

 

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