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The Political Uses of Archival Material in "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and Chile's "No"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • February 7, 2013 9:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I'm not sure if anyone has called it out specifically, but archival news material made a comeback in the Hollywood feature film recently, with the most high-profile examples coming in this year's Oscar nominees "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty." (You can bet that if broadcast news journalists coverered the American Civil War, Steven Spielberg would have included a few excerpts during the end credits of "Lincoln," too.) For my most recent Docutopia column, I wrote about the various uses of news and documentary clips in those two bigger movies, compared with those in "No," Chilean director Pablo Larrain's more self-aware look at a tumultous moment in his own country's history.

In Tale of Migrants, Gael Garcia Bernal Traces Path of "Dayani Crystal"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • January 18, 2013 12:16 PM
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Of the many issue-oriented docs at Sundance this year, the first day's screenings brought the world premiere of "Who is Dayani Crystal," a well-crafted documentary about the plight of Latin American migrants. Produced and featuring Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal, I was initially suspicious about his role in the documentary. But as the film unfolded, I found the actor's easygoing presence to be a helpful guide into the lives of the thousands who make the often ill-fated journey to cross into the United States each year.

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