Netflix Nourishment: 29th Edition
From directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, this riveting, devastating documentary details every form of abuse imaginable that young female gymnasts and Olympians suffered at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar and the USGA. When the adults care much more about money and medals than the children competing – they will blatantly ignore and scare into silence those who should be protected. As one despicable predator physically and mentally robbed hundreds of girl athletes of so much, having the support of a horrifically toxic culture in which he came from made it that much easier to get away with.
Infuriating yet inspiring. Harrowing yet heroic. The victims, along with some resolute Indianapolis Star investigative reporters, recount the terrible and turbulent journey in exposing decades of detrimental damage that can’t be undone. That’s why it’s profoundly moving when the survivors stand face-to-face with their abuser and have their voice heard. It’s marks a monumental step in taking back control of their lives.
SPELLING THE DREAM
When it comes to spelling bees and dominance, look no further than young, brilliant Indian Americans. Their dedication and hard work is incredibly impressive – all the while finding pure joy in vocabulary that most of us have never even heard of, much less use. Director Sam Rega’s wordy documentary may not be exactly spellbinding, though it enriches and educates by sharing a story of immigration, opportunity, competition, and extraordinary spelling.
A WHISKER AWAY
This artful yet abrasive anime is about a girl who can only get the attention of a boy she likes by transforming into a cat. By directors Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama pouncing on complex topics, her reasons are very much relatable. However, this sweet story of wanting to be loved for who you are gets too weird inside a feline fantasy. Between the creepy Mask Seller, traveling through worlds where masks can turn humans into cats and vice versa, and the pivotal romance being awkward and unemotional – staying interested is hard to do.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.