Robert Person’s directorial debut is stunning visually. Some of these images featured prominently in the first half of the film are as familiar to me as the farms in Cleveland County where my parents grew up. The film looks at place and history with a narration that is poetic but loaded with (too much?) gravitas.
(Some of the images remind me of the exhibition of William Christenberry’s photographs at Reynolda House now through June 27 – more on that to come after the film festival but note that it’s definitely worth seeing.)
Experimental documentaries push me in useful ways, and at the end of the day, some of the images comprising this film will stay with me. Structurally, General Orders No. 9 does not work for me quite so well. Call me old-fashioned, but I like a story. Yes, I know that we can take the constituent parts of this film and construct a story in the broad sense, but I prefer something that flows a bit more organically.
Screenings April 16, 17, 18, and 19 at RiverRun. See the website (http://www.riverrunfilm.com) for details.