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Parents' Guide to

Cinema Verite

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Smart biopic raises worthy questions about reality TV.

Movie NR 2012 86 minutes
Cinema Verite Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Thanks to spot-on art direction and a nostalgic soundtrack featuring songs by Carole King, Mama Cass, and The Who, Cinema Verite feels well-rooted in 1970s realism. It creates an authentic sense of place that sets the stage for the birth of reality television as we know it. And the resulting film is a long, strange, fascinating trip that prompts plenty of valid questions about reality, celebrity, and the consequences of capturing people's lives on camera.

One particularly effective technique, in which footage of the actual Loud family (courtesy of the original 1973 documentary series) is shown alongside uncanny footage of the actors portraying them, subtly but shrewdly reinforces the ever-blurry line between fact and fiction in the context of reality TV. In a perfect world, we'd recommend following up the film with some spirited family discussion and a critical viewing of An American Family ... but, ironically, it's not available on DVD. Yet.

Movie Details

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