Dad Dog’s review published on Letterboxd:
So . . . torn feelings about this film.
The main theme -- of Johnny and Jesse, against the struggles of Viv and Paul -- was profoundly moving, and breathtakingly, heartbreakingly realistic. The stark black-and-white made the emotions even more vivid, and the sparse score made the tale that much more poignant. Beautiful.
Yet . . .
As an aside: I was so saddened by the (real-life) comments of so many of the (real-life) children being interviewed. So many of them expressed a weight, a burden . . . of fear, stress, uncertainty, dread, hopelessness . . . that they should never have to bear. Not only should kids not have to bear that kind of burden . . . so much of it is either simply not true, or is only one side of the story.
What the hell are we doing to our kids?! Why are we letting them be told how bad things are, when -- for all the real, current problems -- human existence has (nonetheless) never been better? Why aren't they hearing and learning that medicine and science and agriculture are relieving so much pain, so much hunger, so much suffering? Do they know that slavery has almost been abolished, that humankind has never been more prosperous? That, even if the climate is changing, we are finding ways to work around it, and even take advantage of it?
Yes, the world is not perfect, but our kids have it better than we did -- but we are telling them that its worse . . . and will be even worse for their kids.
My fear is that this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.