A Powerful Noise

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Time Out says

Fri May 2 2008

**** (Four stars)
Director Tom Capello’s documentary gives you a reality check and moody cinema experience in one fell swoop by peeking into the lives of three women heroically making do in the worst of circumstances. In Vietnam, Bui My Hanh has lost her husband and child to AIDS, and has HIV herself. Nada Markovic’s life was blown apart by the war in her native Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Jacqueline Dembele’s Malian village, girls receive little to no schooling. All three women deal by rallying: Hanh forms a support group for people with HIV/AIDS; Markovic creates a Serb-Bosniak agricultural cooperative to ease hostility and create jobs; and Dembele founds an organization to educate and find employment for Malian girls. Each story really deserves a full-length doc unto itself. While the leap between continents and story lines is somewhat jarring, it’s commendable that Capello is mostly a fly on the wall and refrains from making forced connections among his subjects. Gorgeous shots of a verdant Bosnia and misty Vietnam abut the orange burn of the Malian landscape, and viewers are left to draw conclusions about the similarities and differences among these three very unlike women and their respective struggles.—Kate Lowenstein, associate features editor

[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.] 

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Tom Cappello

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