"An intimate collection of postwar memories, 'Fighter' is a powerful, heartfelt and funny documentary. Director Amir Bar-Lev's feature debut gracefully... provides many uplifting moments that will touch even the most cynical viewer!"
"The joy of director Amir Bar-Lev's work is the utter unobtrusiveness of it all. The film recalls none of the formalistic rigor of Errol Morris orÉ Resnais, and the informality is a wonderful antithesis to so many button-pushing Holocaust pieces!"
"The year's finest documentary, My Kid Could Paint That, about a four-year-old girl whose abstract art became a minor sensation, raises genuinely tough questions about the exploitation of children and the distinction between creativity and commodity."
One of the 100 Best Films of All Time: "Starts as the story of a four-year-old painting prodigy in New York, but gets interesting after allegations that Marla may have received more than encouragement from her amateur artist father."
THE LONDON TELEGRAPH
"Bar-Lev proves to be a remarkably sensitive filmmaker, one who asks questions with fairness and insight and who is constantly asking himself what effect he's having on the story."
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS
"A mysterious, gripping meta-documentary. A movie that reflects upon the thorny, unpredictable process of capturing a real-life story on film at the same time it's trying to figure out what the story is."
NEW YORK NEWSDAY
"Fascinating...A thought-provoking look at the world of abstract art, the relationship between a reporter and his/her subject, and, just for the heck of it, the nature of truth."
"Absence of resolution only adds to the resonance of this astute documentary, a personal work of nonfiction as layered with eye-of-the-beholder meaning as Marla's canvases. Amir Bar-Lev's engrossing film is as much about the stubborn ambiguities of art, truth, meaning, and relationships as it is about the authenticity of the Olmstead oeuvre."
"A fascinating subject handled with intelligently provocative care. As striking in its craftsmanship as in potent subject matter, 'My Kid' has been put together with imagination and skill."
"Amir Bar-Lev's documentary is fascinating on all kinds of levels: as a movie about the nature of art, the lure and pitfalls of celebrity, and the complicated conundrums of parenting."
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
"A true conundrum: You can't say for sure if a scam is in play or if a genuine genius is being smeared. And the brilliance of the film is that it doesn't let you feel secure in choosing either side."
"Something of a sensation at this year's Sundance film festival, capturing the rise of this unlikely artist and the sordid scandal, but also posing the larger questions about what constitutes value in the modern-day art world. Indeed, it's this global perspective that makes the documentary so addictive. By the end of the film, Bar-Lev's zeal for discovering the truth transforms the documentary into a larger meditation on the nature of art, and the individual story of Marla into something of a Sherlock Holmes caper."
Katherine P. Jose
"'My Kid Could Paint That' is one of the most honest, enjoyable tutorials on media ethics out there. It's got a mystery, a great cast of real human beings, and a willingness to follow the truth into some pretty tight corners."
NY TIMES' THE CARPETBAGGER BLOG
"Amir Bar-Lev's new documentary is unimpeachable... throws serious and urgent questions of aesthetics, subjectivity and critical responsibility into razor-sharp relief...The ambiguities here are central and sincere, the irresolution coming as a hard-won stalemate rather than any sort of fashionably open-ended posturing."
"Amir Bar-Lev's 'My Kid Could Paint That' is an impressive feat in that it revels in its own ambiguity while still giving us a very entertaining, ripped-from-the-headlines mystery story...It's not that rare for a documentary filmmaker to insert himself into his work, but it is rare to see one so earnestly wrestling with the impact of his camera's presence on a story. That's just one aspect that makes 'My Kid Could Paint That' such a thought-provoking film, one that will inspire a lot of conversation and debate."
WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
"Just as good as any doc we've seen in the past 12 months...Despite the fascinating subject matter, it's Bar-Lev's moral quandary as he attempts to square his fondness for the family with his doubts over Marla's abilities that gives the movie its punch."
"The compelling and complex documentary ultimately raises more questions than answers. But they are good questions: What is art? Where is the line between parental pride and exploitation? Are big media outlets fair in how they cover stories about regular folks? The film effectively addresses the ways that money, cameras and even mere observation fundamentally alter the creative process."
"'My Kid Could Paint That' touches on some heady topics- purity of talent, the nature of art, truth in journalism...a film that's sure to inspire long discussions afterward."
CENTRE DAILY TIMES
"A refreshingly honest documentary. Marla is 7 now. And if the video posted on YouTube in July of this year can be believed, she is still painting- and even more brilliantly than before. But after watching My Kid Could Paint That, can we ever believe what we're seeing?"
"The reporter who first broke the story tells Bar-Lev, 'This is a story about adults.' Yes, it is - about nice adults, some of them quite intelligent, behaving foolishly. Whether or not Marla paints all of the canvases, the question that haunts the film, also becomes a question of who controls the narrative and what parental and artistic responsibility are. Though Bar-Lev leaves these unanswered, viewers will come away with definite beliefs about Marla - and an appreciation for Bar-Lev's fine, intimate, disturbing film."
"'Your documentary, on some level, is going to be a lie,' says New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman near the end of the mesmerizing documentary 'My Kid Could Paint That'. 'I'll say that right now if you'd like,' he offers before turning away from the camera for a moment, taking a breath and preparing himself for a second, more formal take: 'Your documentary, on some level, will be a lie,' Kimmelman repeats...it's ultimately about one of the biggest questions any documentary has ever tackled: how we as human beings make sense to the world...The film's story is, as it turns out, the entire concept of 'story' itself. "
SALT LAKE CITY WEEKLY
"A witty, evocative meditation on modern art, a steady-handed look at media manipulation, even a self-critical take on what is considered essential in nonfiction filmmaking...Smart, engrossing, shocking and a little sad"
Craig D. Lindsey
THE NEWS & OBSERVER
"Some will see it as an interesting art-world story. Some will find in it a statement about the responsibilities of parents of gifted children. Some will see a statement on celebrity. Some might see a not-so-subtle swipe at the world of abstract art. Perhaps the most interesting, and unexpected, facet of the film is its third-act examination of the art of documentary filmmaking...It's an unconventional approach- and it's a touch jarring at first because of that but it adds another layer to an already interesting film."
"Director Amir Bar-Lev joined the media circus before Day 1, as it were, so his documentary follows every twist, even pausing to consider: What is art, anyway? You couldn't make up these characters"
"But even if the mystery at its center remains unsolved, the movie is hardly unsatisfying. Quite the opposite: It's Bar-Lev's willingness to tackle the maybes and what ifs of an impossibly slippery case that make My Kid Could Paint That so trenchant and refreshing. In an Internet-fueled era where omnipresent cameras fool us into thinking we're getting the full story, here's a movie that illustrates otherwise: that, more often than not, what we're really getting are just media-packaged half-truths."
FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
"My Kid Could Paint That represents more important inquiries into existential and universal issues, such as what is the nature of art and creativity? Of truth and reality? And just what role do perceptions and misconceptions play in whipping current events into whirlwinds.Indeed, Bar-Lev uses the story of Marla as the launch pad for these lofty questions, and then delves deeply into them."
"In the hands of a less gifted filmmaker, the story of the Bush administration's campaign to transform the 2004 friendly-fire death of NFL star and Army Specialist Patrick Tillman into a stirring patriotic fable could have easily degenerated into a finger-wagging screed, but director Amir Bar-Lev proves himself to be that rare journalist who is comfortable with nuance, and what he's managed with The Tillman Story is nothing short of masterful."
"Amir Bar-Lev's powerful film... portrays the singular Tillman family vividly and wonderfully. As Mary Tillman says in the film, the truth is more powerful than the lies. Pat Tillman was a much more interesting man and more of an actual hero that the figure his government tried to turn him into. This story is not over and won't be until someone is held accountable for desecrating her son's corpse."
"In this funny, profane and profoundly sad film, Bar-Lev depicts Tillman and his similarly unconventional parents and brothers as belonging to a vanishing species: Americans who hew to no ideological standard, and who actually think for themselves."
"Director Amir Bar Lev weaves into the fabric of his narrative elemental issues that stretch beyond the Tillman legend to the realm of myth, to the arena in which story is used to elicit contemplation of topics such as the nature of heroism, the contracts between governments and their citizens, family and civic loyalty and questions about why men fight and what lies beyond our perceptions of truth.
The Tillman Story is a profound film. By all means see it, and do prepare yourself to delve."
"The Tillman Story" has an R rating because of language. Think about that one, too: Lies are rated G and can be heard around the clock on television, but try saying the truth with the proper force and you end up with a restricted audience."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"The Tillman Story" is a story that won't go away, won't leave you alone, won't let you feel at ease. Intensely dramatic, filled with elevated heroism, crass self-interest and blatant stupidity, it's a paradigmatic narrative of our tendentious, turbulent times."
LOS ANGELES TIMES
"My Kid Could Paint That" questioned the authorship of a little girl's unusually sophisticated and lucrative canvases, and the role her father may have played in their creation. It was a detective story as well as a highly personal nonfiction essay, and it was a marvel. Bar-Lev's new film is "The Tillman Story," and while self-effacing in its technique, it is no less superb. It is enraging yet nuanced, an elusive combination for any documentary."
"The Tillmans likely will never know how high up the cover-up of the death went. But Bar-Lev's brilliant movie enables them to reclaim the soldier who was turned into a poster boy for a war he disagreed with, and see him as a man, not a hero."
"This masterful, unsettling documentary... proves the eternal verity that the truth is far more interesting than the myth ever hoped to be... Bar-Lev doesn't re-mythologize his subject as much as restore his identity as the man his family and friends still miss. By letting filmgoers get to know that man, The Tillman Story reminds us that the stories we long to hear, especially during wartime, also function as a way to distance ourselves from the reality of death -- the violence, the suffering and, in this case particularly, the senselessness. Bar-Lev's greatest achievement, finally, isn't political but emotional. By introducing filmgoers to the Pat Tillman who was kept from us for so long, The Tillman Story invites us simply to feel his loss. This tragedy never had a happy ending, but thanks to Bar-Lev's remarkable film, it's been infused with deep and palpable meaning. "
THE WASHINGTON POST
"A conspiracy drama that rivals any fiction film in recent memory... Where the film truly succeeds is in reclaiming the life and death of Patrick Tillman for his family.... Your blood will boil, and that's okay. My feeling is that if you're fortunate enough to have the chance to see this remarkable film and you don't, you're just as much a part of the problem as the media, the military, and the government. Consider seeing The Tillman Story part of your duty as an American. "
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