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Jonathan's Sundance Reviews, 2007 

Table of Contents

12 films this year. Same rating scale of 1-5.   The title of each film links to IMDB for full cast and details.

War Dance (5) An American Crime (5) Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade (3)
Waitress (5) Clubland (4) Broken English (3)
Resurrecting The Champ (5) Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (4) White Light / Black Rain (3)
Trade (5)

Delirious (4)

Summer Rain (3)
War Dance (5)

Best of festival for me. From the opening shot to the final credit, this film will touch your heart. Three children living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda compete in their country's national music and dance festival. While the country may be ravaged by guerilla militias, that literally burn down villages and commit unspoken attrocities, the music, dance, and spirit of these children bring respect to their village and hope to everyone.

Waitress (5)

Jenna (Keri Russell) was taught by her mother to bake pies as a little girl, and now she bakes delicious pies each day and works as a waitress at Joe's Diner, serving up a new surprise masterpiece pie everyday with names like "Kick in the Pants Pie" and "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie". It’s naturally sweet, avoiding the saccharine and articicial in both flavor and plot.

Resurrecting The Champ (5)

Feel good flick on the campy side. Up-and-coming sports reporter (Hartnett) rescues a homeless man ("Champ", Jackson) only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.

Trade (5)

Intense. Arresting. Definitely worth seeing. Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother, Jorge (Cesar Ramos), to save her. Trapped and terrified by an underground network of international thugs who earn millions exploiting their human cargo, the story is gripping and extremely well delivered.

An American Crime (5)

Proceed with caution. You may feel shocked, numb, or nauseous after this, but no denying that the execution of this film is potent. Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis (3850 E. New York St. is hardly suburban, nor was it in 1965, by any stretch of the imagination.) home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her seven children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific.

Clubland (4)

The shy son of an aging comedienne tries to find a balance between his demanding home life, his new girlfriend, and his mother's second chance at fame. Fun.

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (4)

Captivating for all crossword addicts. An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base.

Delirious (4)

A lighter look at paparazzi and friendships. Cute.

Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade (4)

Did you grow up playing Pacman? Asteroids? Defender? Make a single quarter last all afternoon at the mall? You'll love this flick. 1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.

Broken English (3)

Thirty-something freak outs, perfect marraiges, disastrous dates, and an unexpected Frenchman. Good ingredients, just barely beyond the realm of predictable.

White Light / Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (3)

Powerful documentary that might get under your skin.

Summer Rain (3)

A coming-of-age tale charting the first loves, lusts and obsessions of friends on vacation at the end of the 1970s.

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