Made In America
Director: Ron Howard
Set against backdrop of the music festival that he curated and headlined of the same name last year, Made In America chronicles the rise of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z from his humble beginnings to global superstar as his eclectic festival highlights the changes and dropping of boundaries in musical culture.
Howard runs through the motions of a standard concert film/bio/behind-the-scenes documentary, but he has a clarity of message that runs a deeper than promoting Jay-Z or any of the other artists in the film and their brands. It’s a call to Americans to use creativity to snap itself out of its funk and serves as a reminder that never giving up on our dreams is so important for the psyche of a nation. Howard was lobs softballs as he interviews subjects, and his admiration for them comes across as pandering, but it’s also with a message that we occasionally take for granted. The concert footage looks great, keeping a healthy balance between pure music and it’s subjects.
It won’t light the world on fire, but it’s a film with a message of positivity and hope that’s important to hear once in a while, even when delivered in a less then elegant fashion. (Dave Voigt)
Saturday, September 7th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 10:15pm