With an estimated 10,000 filmgoers this year, attendance at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has noticeably increased within the past five years. But the fest is over, and out-of-town volunteers, visitors and filmmakers have all returned to their respective homes, only to prepare for next year's 10-day doc binge.
Final Word: While I had the ability to watch as many as 100 documentary films in their entirety, I didn't because, as I've stated before, I suffer from some sort of weird distraction thing. And, of course, because I was blogging half the time. But, that said, I did see one film (a short) in full that I will say was very, very good.
I Love Alaska is much like a slideshow in that it showed stills of the state's scenery while a woman's AOL searches were read outloud. The woman is introduced as a case number--one of thousands whose search histories were exposed and posted publicly online after a glitch in the AOL server--and referred to as that case number throughout the story. If one were to read the transcript of this film, it would be bullet points, though all structured in a narrative manner, describing this woman's life as represented by these phrases and words entered into the internet search engine.
While the entire idea is conveyed within the first 15 minutes (runtime is about 40), the concept is so novel and concise and heartbreaking (she has hypochondriac tendancies and researches divorce, lesbianism, social stigmas and the effects of extramarital affairs) that it pulls you in, leaving you wanting more of this obsessive web-browsing. And it makes you think about tracking your own Google searches and how much they reveal about your own state of mind.
See you next year! Thanks for reading and thanks for rocking, Missoula, MT.