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Documentary Short Film Oscar Nominees 2024

Over the past weekend I had a rare opportunity, in my normal yearly quest to see as many Oscar nominees as possible, to see nearly all the "short films" for 2024! I saw, with my dear friend Cricket, the animated shorts and live action shorts, presented as packages, at an AMC theater. They were quite enjoyable and quite diverse.

Then she pointed out that the documentary shorts were available in streaming! How exciting! So yesterday afternoon I watched all five of those, and then later that evening, one of the animated feature films. I cannot tell you how wonderful this has been! There are a lot of movies that come out each year and you can't see them all, and we often don't have a clue what to even see besides films that come from sources that we already love: certain directors, actors, franchises, etc.

Here now are the nominees for Best Documentary Short Film, and a blurb about each, a few personal thoughts on each, and how you too can see them if you wish. I hope you enjoy.....


THE ABCs of Book Banning

Blurb: Reveals the voices of the impacted parties of books banned from school districts, inspiring hope for the future through the profound insights of inquisitive youthful minds.

This film was very powerful to see bright, intelligent children who wanted to read above their so-called reading level and how they were mystified at the books that were banned, and how upset they were. I was thrilled that, at their young age, they saw nothing wrong with, for instance, with two male (the knew gay) penguins raising young. If the penguins were in love, why not?

Where you can watch it: Paramount+

The Barber of Little Rock

Blurb: The Barber of Little Rock explores America's widening racial wealth gap through the story of Arlo Washington, a local barber whose visionary approach to a just economy can be found in the mission of People Trust, the nonprofit community bank he founded.

This was pretty inspirational watching Mr. Washington fight for people of color and against racism in financial institutions that don't want to give them the same opportunities to have a chance to own their own businesses, have self-pride, and rise out of poverty. Very emotional film.

Where you can watch it: YouTube

Island In Between

Blurb: S. Leo Chiang reflects on his relationship with Taiwan, the United States and China from the islands of Kinmen, just a few miles from mainland China.

I really didn't enjoy this one as much the first two as it simply seemed to simply ramble with no direction. However, it was pretty shocking to discover this island, free from communism, was surrounded on three sides by China, with its people knowing that at any time, China could decide to invade.

Where you can watch it: YouTube

The Last Repair Shop

Blurb: Tells the story of four unassuming heroes who ensure no student is deprived of the joy of music. It is also a reminder of how music can be the best medicine, stress reliever and even an escape from poverty.

I loved this one, I was in tears by the end.

Beautifully shot and filled with the stories of people whose lives were changed and enriched and even saved by the ability to play musical instruments and their love of music. It was gorgeous and I was deeply moved.

Where you can watch it: Hulu

Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

Blurb: A personal love letter from director Sean Wang to his Nai Nai and Wài Pó, a grandma super team that dances, stretches, and farts their sorrows away.

I didn't really enjoy this film at all. It rambled aimlessly and my thought about it was--not having read the blurb--that this must have been made by the two very old lady's grandson (or other young relative) who adored them and thought therefore everyone else in the world would as well. Did I love them? certainly, thought they were characters, and I admired their zeal for life. Could I have missed this one? I think so. I had to look at the blurb this morning to remember what it was about.

Where you can watch it: Hulu

My Personal Choice for the Oscar: Easy, it would be The Last Repair Shop. It was the one that not only was gorgeously made, but set my heart to soaring. What wonderful stories from all those involved. I loved it so much I will watch it again!

And there you go! I had a very nice afternoon watching these and I recommend you checking out any of those that you can. And please watch out for my other two posts for the other ten short films. They will be posted soon.

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Thank you for the insights!

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