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Spellbound (2002) October 24, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Film.

I really like this film, because it has true insight. It tells you something about something we all know of, but know so little about: the American spelling bee. Why on earth do people do it? But in giving us this insight, it tells us so much about the American dream in America today. I’m becoming increasingly fond of the documentary that has no need for narration – the footage can speak for itself. Really, director Jeffrey Blitz seems to has a simple plot: introduce the audience to eight very different kids and follow them as they prepare, then compete in the national spelling bee. The dramatic tension comes with the subject matter, but Blitz does a fantastic job, forging a relationship between the viewer, the kids and their families. It is at times excrutiating, but unlike most sports movies, is entirely unpredictable. And that, for a documentary, is rare.



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