Friday, February 4, 2022

Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Short

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 8th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees:: Colette, A Concerto is a Conversation, Do Not Split, Hunger Ward, A Love Song for Latasha

I had the opportunity this year to screen all fifteen shortlisted films in this category. I’ll offer some brief thoughts on the contenders in my predictions, and links to watch if they are publicly available. There is some typically very serious content here. Among the most poignant and difficult to shake are Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day (watch on Paramount+), which looks at the horrific tendency to celebrate lynchings as an event to be commemorated, and Day of Rage (watch on YouTube), which investigates the storming of the Capitol last year. Other intriguing exposés include Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis (watch on Netflix), about Nazi scientists brought to Washington after World War II, and Terror Contagion (rentable from Neon), about disturbing weapon and surveillance technology. Takeover (watch on Vimeo), The Queen of Basketball (watch on YouTube), and Coded: The Hidden Love of J. C. Leyendecker (watch on Paramount+) provide potent looks at recent history and those who refused to accept the standards of their eras. Águilas (watch on YouTube) and The Facility (watch on Vimeo) powerfully explore the consequences of repressive immigration policies, while Lead Me Home (watch on Netflix) and A Broken House (watch on YouTube) ponder what having a home really means. Audible (watch on Netflix) and Three Songs for Benazir (watch on Netflix) find people where they are and give them a chance to have their voices heard, and When We Were Bullies revisits the impact of childhood behavior. Sophie and the Baron may well be the outlier as the one solely uplifting film, charting the unexpected friendship between two very different artists.

Predicted nominees: Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis, Day of Rage, The Queen of Basketball, Sophie and the Baron, Takeover

Forecasted winner: I’ll pick A Concerto is a Conversation.

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