Tuesday, April 30, 2024

DEATH OF A SAINT (2024) Hot Docs 2024

Patricia Bbaale Bandak returns home Uganda to look into her past, and in particular the death of her mother when she was an infant. However  she is hampered by her father who really doesn’t want to revisit it and a cultural refusal to speak badly of the dead.

Extremely personal journey into the director’s life is something that is going to require a few minutes of readjustment. Looking and feeling at times like an odd home movie, the film has it’s own rhythms and pacing. I mention this as a warning to anyone who wants a film to go from first frame to the last. This is something else instead. It is a film with the rhythm and pacing of life. Things play out as they do in life not with in the confines of a director’s reconstruction of life.

Bandak wants us to understand her life and she creates the optimal forum for that by bring us truly into her world. In a way it’s a gamble, viewers who want bullet points and a fast pace are going to be disappointed. On the other hand those viewers who want to understand the film’s subject will  go into it and submerge themselves into the place that DEATH OF A SAINT TAKES US.

I’m not going to lie, I was antsy at the start. I wasn’t certain what Bandak was doing, but being a fan of documentaries that really get their point of view across, I belt in and was richly rewarded. The result was a trip to a place and into a life I never imagined.

This is a gem of a film and recommended.

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