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A Film Diary

+ high-res version

Watched: 3 December

Director Alma Har’el ruminates on modern love in this superbly edited documentary, which follows the lives of three American families (in Hawaii, Alaska and New York) as they go through some form of relationship upheavel. In Hawaii we follow William, a surfer who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is not the biological father of his son; in New York Har’el explores the reactions of seven siblings after their parents separate in the wake of an extra-marital affair; and, in Alaska, Blake works as a stripper while seemingly in a stable relationship with partner Joel, though financial strains and the nature of her job eventually cause problems for the couple. It’s interesting to see how people cope differently with loss and disappointment, and although on occasion the trio of stories become sad to watch, there are more than a few notes of optimism by the end… and there’s a commendably non-judgemental stance towards the people who graciously allowed the director and her cameras to depict their lives, warts and all. (****)

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