One Cut, One Life: The Lives of Filmmakers

How do you feel, what do you think at the very moment a film is over?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? There’s something important about that moment—I mean in terms of speaking or writing about this film you just saw, or in terms of your own understanding.

OneI felt somber at the conclusion of “One Cut, One Life”. I imagine that is the most common reaction being that the film is about and made by two documentary filmmakers facing death.

Ed Pincus has a life-threatening illness. Lucia Small recently lost two dear friends to violent deaths. The two filmmakers address themselves and the camera as they reveal their thoughts, opinions, experiences, and feelings. We also hear from friends and family, and learn a little about the filmmakers’ previous work.

At film’s end I wondered what do I say about it? “One Cut, One Life” is a powerful experience—seeing and hearing people being vulnerable, facing death is both evocative and provocative. And, like it or not, the film puts you in an introspective mood.

Of course I recommend “One Cut, One Life”. That’s one of my rules; I don’t write about a film unless I do so. But, why this one?

It is a matter of values. I believe it is of great value when human beings share their deepest thoughts and feelings. It is especially important for the sharer. However their sharing is received, it is the sharer’s own response to their sharing that holds the possibility of one’s own insight and transformation.

This value of vulnerability is the gift given us by Small and Pincus.

There’s another reason I recommend “One Cut, One Life”. When viewing screeners at home—with computer, telephone, refrigerator, and bathroom all within a few feet—I usually pause for any number of reasons. I was glued to my screen all 107 minutes of this film. Pincus’ and Small’s characters and journeys pulled me into their stories, their lives.

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