Review of “Anonymous Sister”
By: Kate Hartman
“Anonymous Sister” is an immersive cinematic experience. Jamie Boyle filmed Anonymous Sister for 30 years. Its compilation of home videos, modern testimonials and dreamlike editing make the film feel like a memory.
This film shows the Boyle family’s battle with opioid addiction and the unmentioned dangers of the drugs they were constantly prescribed. The film emotionally compels its viewers through the family’s heartbreaking downfall and inspiring recovery.
Today’s Boyle family is a representation of strength, and while addiction has strained the family, it has not severed their bond. In 93 minutes, you feel connected to the family that invites you into its universe. We watch sisters Jamie and Jordan grow up on screen.
This film temporarily embeds you into Boyle’s life as you see birthdays, the 4th of July, rehabilitation and recovery, all from the perspective of a camcorder. “Anonymous Sister” is an eye-opening piece, providing first-hand testimony to what addiction can do to a family. While the editing and camerawork are high-budget, Jamie Boyle creates a personal sensation.
Watching the family change over the years reinforces the message of the film. This is proof of their redemption story. As we spend a lot of time with Boyle’s family, Jamie wants us to know that opioid addiction can happen to any family. The film cuts to the Boyles to see countless other families grappling with similar issues, exposing the opioid epidemic as a national problem that has plagued people for decades.
The review of “80 years later”
By: Rachel Ulangkaya
Our identities are closely linked to the times in which we live. Céline Parreñas Shimizu’s “80 Years Later” examines this through the prism of Japanese-American identity in the Fujiu family during and after internment.
Spanning four generations, each member of the family has a different idea of what it means to be Japanese American. Following the Fujiu family, the film pauses to reflect on several questions, some of which are contradictory in nature.
It ends with the question of inheritance: something that not only Asian Americans struggle with, but all Americans. Is inheritance a blessing? A curse? Matthew, a fourth-generation family member, doesn’t even have Japanese in his name. Still, he tries to reconnect with his roots, learning Japanese and participating in cultural events.
Ironically, his grandfather, a second-generation immigrant, was a high school footballer who knew no Japanese. His grandfather tells Matthew that Matthew may be more connected to his Japanese heritage than he ever was.
Perhaps many of us are going against the wishes of our ancestors, who brought us to America to live as Americans, and yet the desire for a connection to them persists.
“In the Canyon” review
By: Avery Hastings
“Into the Canyon” dives deeper than the Canyon walls. One of the opening lines of the film, “Into the Canyon”, is “More people have walked on the moon than they have completed the trek we are about to endure”. From this moment you are captured.
You are taken on this journey with world-renowned photographer Pete McBride and award-winning author Kevin Fedarko; you follow them on their 750 mile trek through snow, rain, heat and exhaustion as they trek from side to side of the Grand Canyon. This inspiring story is about more than friendship and endurance. It delves into deep economic and environmental issues, ranging from the Native Americans who live in the Canyon to the people who want to industrialize it.
The underlying story of this film makes us want to take action and defend something as beautiful and important as the Grand Canyon. It’s more than a landscape: it’s a house. It’s a home for people, animals, plants, rivers and more than meets the eye.
This story is told through breathtaking visuals and views of the Canyon, as well as vantage point footage of McBride and Fedarko as they navigate the hundreds of miles of the hike. “Into the Canyon” is an awe-inspiring cinematic journey like no other.