As if we needed more proof that the Oscar documentary selection committee has its collective head up it ass! This extraordinary film is not just the best documentary released last year, it’s easily one of the best films overall. It starts out as a puff piece on a 4-year-old girl who paints abstract works that sell to serious collectors for tens of thousands of dollars. It ends up as a powerful, sad and provocative exploration of art, the media and parenting.
Filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev walks the finest line imagineable, inserting himself into his film at a key turning point without losing focus on the true subjects. He manages to make a statement about the creative roles not just of the little girl and her parents, but of a documentary filmmaker, a print journalist, a TV journalist, and the masses who are so quick to both celebrate and tear down those who fascinate us. I watched this on DVD this morning but didn’t put it back in the mail to NetFlix because I already want to watch it again.