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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is this the end of the tearjerking movie?

I'm not a big crier but "The Interrupters" had me in tears more than once. It's a documentary about the efforts of former Chicago gang members to reduce the apparently random violence in their communities, often by putting themselves between perpetrators and victims. One of them is Ameena Matthews (above), who has the charisma of ten actors. "Dear Zachary", another documentary about real-life tragedy, also made me cry in a way that I could no longer imagine happening with a fictional feature film. Is that it for traditional tearjerkers?

6 comments:

Ian M said...

Absolutely superb film and the closing credits use of Solomon King's Don't Give Up on Me will slay anybody with a heart left.

TDH said...

Good stories told well are always going to evoke a reaction, I don't think its specific to documentaries. Would a motion picture based on the work of the Interrupters also have been a tearjerker? Certainly possible.

P.S. I defy anyone not to cry during Dear Zachary.

Douglas said...

It's maybe the difference between tear-jerking and distressing: the former is more associated with fiction, whereas reality is more likely to provoke the latter (precisely because it's really happening, not just a story). I remember seeing one those list programmes - "100 greatest tearjerkers" - and it included the key scene from Sophie's Choice: that's not a "tear-jerker" in my book, that's hugely distressing as the parent of two or more children.

Charlie Mingles said...

You obviously haven't seen the new Muppets movie? I cried like a baby. Heartwarming without being manipulative or predictable. Clever and funny without being exclusive. When you find yourself choking back the tears as a collection of fakefur and ping-pong balls get back together to put on a musical and save the old Muppet theatre - you're reassured that at it's best mainstream popular entertainment is as great as ever. Beautiful funny, poignant heart-warming stuff. Highly recommmended. Especially for small-children and jaded middle-aged men.

Rosbif AzAK said...

Have you seen The Road, David? I've got a bit dewy eyed at films before, but this had me sobbing.

Meg Rosoff said...

Guess you haven't seen Warhorse. I sobbed through the trailer, though not for the right reasons.