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The fact that this documentary is barely over 3 minutes short may scare some people off, or at the very least make them reluctant to watch it. It perhaps is reason for you to make you question its quality and wonder if perhaps the documentary makers didn't had the money, or other resources and materials at hands to make a feature length documentary out off. But there is no reason for any of this really, since the documentary is fine as it is in its current form and length!

A lack of talent, or lack of ideas or a good enough main subject clearly wasn't the reason for this documentary to be such a short one. It appears to be a very deliberate choice (other than else it wouldn't have been eligible for a 3 minutes short documentary competition), in order to get it points across- and to raise awareness for its subject, which is young Iraqi orphans, in the most effective way possible.

And it also makes sense once you start thinking about it. Just look at it this way; a 30 seconds TV commercial also does a better job at 'selling' its product and build awareness around it than, lets say, a 30 minutes long corporate film. So yes, I'm actually fond of this way of documentary making and its effectiveness.

Also one of the dangers of full length documentaries is that they tend to repeat itself and start to force some of its drama, once it keeps building. It also tends to become more about its persons, rather than its main subject after a while, once it starts following people around. Because of its length, this documentary never strays and it doesn't have any sort of distractions in it. After all, this is not a documentary meant to necessarily praise people such Ruwayda Mustafah or Ashna Shareff but it's more so one that's meant to praise their work, show its importance and create awareness for it.

And please don't think that just because it's short it's also a very simplistic documentary, that's hardly doing- and telling you anything at all. It's constantly different and creative with its subject and does a good job at shedding a light on it, from different perspectives.

Besides, it's about a good and interesting subject, you normally won't really ever think about. In the grand scheme of things, it may even come across to you as a sort of less significant problem, that's going on in Iraq at the moment but of course 'smaller' problems can actually still be big and all important ones in their own way, especially when it concerns young, innocent children.

It's also a beautiful looking documentary, with some great, stylish camera-work, competent directing, some good, swift editing and a nice little musical score to support all of it. A detail I also especially liked about it was that it apparently actually let the orphans handle and hold the camera for most of its shots.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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