The most critically acclaimed documentary opening this weekend is These Birds Walk, a film from Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq about the Edhi Foundation of Pakistan. Or, rather, it’s a portrait of a runaway boy and an ambulance driver employed by that foundation. Dan is a fan, Chris not so much. We discuss the role of humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi in the film itself, and how These Birds Walk compares to two Oscilloscope Laboratories releases of 2012, Only the Young and Tchoupitoulas. It obscures some of its context in the interest of storytelling and foregrounds the presence of the camera, both choices that complicate the viewing experience. In this way it evokes both classic fiction films like The 400 Blows and the recent work of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab. These Birds Walk is, to say the least, hard to categorize.
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Chris’s feature on forgotten Oscar-nominated documentaries
Chris’s review of These Birds Walk
Chris’s interview with the directors of Only the Young
Only the Young and Tchoupitoulas on Dan’s 12 Best Documentaries of 2012
Only the Young and Tchoupitoulas on Chris’s Best Documentaries of 2012