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directed by Reet & Tom Mae

‘’Patterns of freedom’’ is a feature-length documentary that brings forth subjects such as departing, tradition, culture, craft and feelings of familiarity. This particular documentary blends different kinds of structures and filmmaking elements, of which the most evident is  the editing. Research reaches a high informational level, although displaying and structuring it in a way more engaging to the viewer would definitely come as a plus for an untrained eye as well as for a professional one. 


It is to be appreciated right from the very beginning of the film that the number of women being interviewed is strengthened by their nieces or daughters as well, offering the storytelling an additional layer which is important. We are given a glimpse of their everyday life, as well as unique happenings such as: weddings, the endeavor of trying to keep their craft alive through war and displaced persons camps right to their new homeland while trying to maintain their tradition. Younger girls find the handwork and traditional cultural skill to be modern and relevant still, proving that their heritage isn’t lost.


 The beginning of the film may seem a little too abrupt. Viewers don’t have the chance to fully empathize with the information they were just given, so the main feeling is that of being thrown right in the middle of a story we’re not sure if we will be able to fully embrace, given the fast pace of the structure and the amount of informational elements that are displaced. A slightly longer intro with illustrations and voiceover instead of interviews, would have created a more natural way to begin, so viewers could have more time to process the story until the next chapter of the film’s structure. 


Another slight minus comes from not knowing where all the interviewed people are coming from. A very succinct bio under their name would be preferable, such as their jobs or their role in this story timeline. 


Twenty minutes into the documentary and it seems to become more intelligible, although the way the interviews are placed in order is a bit unusual. At the same time, the black frames and fade outs used as transitions, seem to work more as a buffer instead of making actual connections between the shots.


Having people of different nationalities giving interviews and fluctuating different language subtitles, can become a bit tiring. The framing of the interviewed persons needs a bit more attention in order to improve. Lighting switches temperature too often and does not seem to be in accordance with the animations. 


The whole film seems to be crafted in an intentional vintage style that might come out as a cliche, whereas photo frames and freeze frames used, start adding an unnecessary layer in the stylistic of this story.

All in all, there are elements that were well used, such as the animations and illustrations that were very helpful. This made the whole film much more accessible and easy to follow in terms of storyline. At the same time, the zoom-in technique used on the photos, plays a good role in this story and we appreciate that they were also given a 3D aspect and perspective which makes them more interesting. The reenactments are well done and necessary, the monologue needs this kind of images and they were well placed. Also, the illustration material that was filmed is beautiful and well executed, so these were particularities that we really appreciated for this piece of filmmaking. 


We wish the team best of luck and we hope that they will continue to perfect their way of making films into an award winner concept.

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