Documentary Shorts Explore Themes of Memory and Nostalgia | 2015 Dallas International Film Festival—April 9-19

Documentary Shorts Explore Themes of Memory and Nostalgia

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by Holly Wright
DIFF Writer

Documentaries help bring stories to the surface that might not otherwise be heard. These three shorts examine the lives of three individuals who, in various degrees, are attempting to reconcile memories of the past with their present lives. Each film exemplifies the way we can be touched by the stories of other human beings, not matter our backgrounds or how different out lives might seem on the surface.


In CROOKED CANDY Andrew Rodgers shares a whole world of childhood memories denied to the United States. Kinder Eggs are chocolate eggs with a little surprise toy in them, reminiscent of our Cracker Jacks boxes. Kinder eggs have little collectible items though, which present a choking hazard and therefore illegal here in the U.S., but oh so coveted after seeing this doc.


MASTER HOA’s REQUIEM, directed by Scott Edwards, visits a more heartrending reminiscence that goes back to South Viet Nam in the 1970’s, when Nguyen Tuen Hoa fled the North Viet Cong with his wife and two children. They, along with over 1 million tried to escape by boat, with over 400,000 dying at sea, including Hoa’s family. Master Hoa, now a martial arts expert in Fort Worth returns to confront his memories and try to make some peace about it by finding the graves of his family. Walking through mass graves of Vietnamese, Hoa is a man haunted by his past as he looks out and says “they force you to come to the ocean”. It is a glimpse into the Viet Nam war from a very different and very important perspective.


There may be nothing more heartbreaking than seeing what war can do to the memories of a child. Kitty Green’s THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL has young Ukranian girls very excited about trying to be cast to play one of their most famous idols. When asked to draw on previous remembrances in order to display emotion for the camera, they go back to the horrific events that they have witnessed in their home towns. Observing war through the eyes of a child as they are remembering their childhood is haunting.




L.M. Kit Carson (Posthumously)
Lone Star State legend and influential writer, actor and producer Carson first gained recognition as creator of the mockumentary, DAVID HOLZMAN’s DIARY (1968), and co-wrote PARIS, TEXAS (1984).

Blythe Danner
Danner is well regarded for her roles in films such as MEET THE PARENTS and THE GREAT SANTINI. The Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actress is alos know for her work on television shows such as Will & Grace and Huff.

John Landis
A director for more than 40 years, Landis' films include NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE (1980), THE BLUES BROTHERS (1978) and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981).

Learn more about the honorees

Presented by REEL FX

Phil Lord and Chris Miller
are the prolific writing and directing duo behind some of today’s most successful comedy films including, THE LEGO MOVIE, 21 & 22 JUMP STREET and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS.

Learn more about the honorees


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