film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Endangered 2022 * * * 1/2 Stars


2022's Endangered is not so much a documentary as it is a painful reminder of what's been going on in the world via the last two years. Protests and violence and COVID oh my. Man it's been a bumpy ride. Watching Endangered is like witnessing a multi-vehicle car accident. I know I sound like a broken record but you just can't look away.

Endangered is the definition of a docu because it's factual, reported, and raw, with the camera always peeking in like some sort of spy or curious bystander. Did I mention the film does the split screen technique as well? Endangered's directors (Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing) are experts at what they do. The footage they capture is so in the moment, so undisguised. Channeling a little Steven Soderbergh but with real people instead of actors, you wonder in surreal amazement how they shot this thing (but they did cause it's there).

Endangered makes you feel sympathy for the media even though some of their shtick I find annoying (I shouldn't cause I'm a writer myself but whatever). Hey, as they say they're just doing their job. The flick follows four reporters from different parts of the planet who have received threats of inhumanity and persecution while on the beat.

With Endangered, helmers Grady and Ewing create 90 minutes of subdued, journalistic discipline that is quietly powerful. They get right up in their subject's grills but veer away from interviews and just go with hushed narration (it works). The fact that this pic was filmed at the height of the pandemic just makes it more neoteric to watch.

If you're a fan of documentaries (and I am) then Endangered will satisfy that particular, cinematic palate. The movie ends with a sort of metaphoric fog being lifted. Gosh, it's great to know that not everyone will forever be put "in harm's way".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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