3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes
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This feature documentary film by Tariq Jalil is about the throngs of fans who spent months waiting in line to see Star Wars Episode I. The director Jalil is a fan of Star Wars himself, but he really wanted to answer why this generation (myself included) are so mesmerized by this movie. What is really behind this phenomenon? We meet a young father who has named his son Anakin. We meet a family man who owns a comic book store whose house is overrun with memorabilia. We meet the people in line and get to know them intimately.
In incredibly clever use of cross-cutting, we see throngs of Star Wars fans fighting over cases of freshly opened Star Wars toys intercut with shots of refugees from Kosovo fighting over food. The similarities between the footage is revealing about how seriously we take pop culture here in the U.S. Perhaps the most interesting question is asked of the subjects at the end of the film as we learn that each carries some small inner pain – alcoholic parents, abusive father, abandonment. Somehow the escapism contained in the Star Wars is the cure for the pain in their lives. While the film explores deeper layers not seen in other documentaries of this type, it never condescends of makes fun of the fans. A revealing documentary about a subject that will explored by our generation for years to come.

Posted on July 14, 2001 in Reviews by

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