Hot Docs 2018: GURRUMUL (Australia 2018)

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Gurrumul Poster
Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia.

 

GURRUMUL is a name most people have never heard of.  So the image of him as seen on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine must stand for something.   Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. 

 Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land.  Living a traditional Yolngu life, his breakthrough album ‘Gurrumul’ brought him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around the world began to embrace his music.   William’s film follows his life as told by his mother, father, uncle and assortment of relatives.  He has two white folk aid him in publicity and his work. 

 GURRUMUL is unlike most biographies where there is downturn and then redemption.  But Gurrumul is no angel either, as his manager gets extremely frustrated when he does not show up for his American tour.  But the film that stresses Gurrumul’s voice and songs comes across as a rather lacklustre affair despite director William’s effort of educating the audience on Gurrumul’s tribal responsibilities.

The only time the film comes alive is the duet performance of “Every Breathe you Take,” by Gurrumul and Sting.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXa3gw3g4C4

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Hot Docs 2018: OVER THE LIMIT (Poland/Germany/Finland 2017) **

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Over the limit Poster
An intimate portrait of the world’s most outstanding rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun who needs to overcome mental fragility to take part in the Olympic Games.

Director:

Marta Prus

Writer:

Marta Prus

 

OVER THE LIMIT begins with a beautifully choreographed display go gymnastics by Olympic gymnast Rita Mamun, doing wonders with a hoop.  To the audience’s surprise, she is then violently chided by her trainer, a Ms. Irina despite praise from her coach, Ms. Amina.  The film concentrates its focus on these three individuals. 

 

 Ms. Irina is depicted as the wicked manipulative witch who hurls abusive insults and personal attacks on both Rita and the coach.  The main goal is the winning of the Olympic goal which becomes the climax of the doc.  Is this successful Russian system for training athletes transgresses boundaries really worth it?  Results may show but the path and destruction of human lives might not.

 

This is what Prus intends to show and succeeds.  Elite rhythmic gymnast Rita Mamun has reached a crucial moment in her career.  This is a difficult to watch nail-biting behind-the-scenes drama about the intense physical and mental labor put into a sport that thrives on its beautiful aesthetics.  But there are too many repeated segments of Ms. Irina abusing Rita.  The audience gets the point early in the film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W47fIKJJAVw

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