Afterward is a personal documentary for Ofra Bloch. With a career in psychoanalysis and a desire to make a movie, she sets out to talk with people of various backgrounds about how they’ve been effected by their culture’s history, followed by discussions examining guilt. And with so much cultural animosity taking place in the modern world, Bloch digs deeper to see is if these claims are proven to be contradictive of current discrimination, and then pushes further to see if reflective experience of the past can be learned from to shape our future.
For her filmmaking debut, Bloch exhibits some promising traits as a documentarian. She firmly interviews, and she cuts to the chase rather well without dismissing any anecdotes or opinions that her subjects reveal. Only occasionally are Bloch’s questions loaded, but they’re addressed in such an obvious manner to reflect her own feelings.
Bloch makes some flawed choices as a filmmaker though; the standout being that she uses too much B-roll. The structural outline of Afterward is fairly standard but, as Bloch narrates, the audience watches her walk around and observe the scenery in Berlin, Israel, Germany, Palestine, and Hebron. Some observant bits work, but only when they’re associated with fitting motivation and context (when she’s asking strangers about shocking street signs in the Bavarian Quarter, or when she’s sombrely looking through exhibits in the Berlin Jewish Museum). But most of the time, movie goers will feel like they’re awkwardly chaperoning someone who’s taking a private trip.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie
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