A very interesting critique of (some of) the selected documentaries for the Sundance Film Festival comes from Anthony Kaufmann, who has written for NY Times, Village Voice, Variety among others.
I dare to make a long quote from the beginning of his article that can be read in full length by clicking the link below:
This year the Sundance Film Festival captured the zeitgeist. Films that premiered this past week in Park City investigated, explored and exposed the biggest issues of the day, from abortion (After Tiller) to immigration (Who is Dayani Crystal?), from economic unfairness (99%, Citizen Koch, Inequality for All) to information in the digital age (We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Google and the World Brain), from covert wars (Dirty Wars, Manhunt) to other political and social injustices (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, God Loves Uganda, Blackfish, etc).
But no matter how incisive, exhaustive, convincingly argued or shrewdly structured, most of the films employed tried-and-true formal elements. As far as I saw, there was no Catfish or Exit Through the Gift Shop (photo), no Imposter or Man on Wire, no radical mixes of documentary and fiction—in short, very little stylistic experimentation. Watching the docs at Sundance was like being holed up in your living room and held captive by HBO, besieged by hours upon hours of solid reportage.
Not all of Sundance’s docs were created equally, but they were made in mostly the same mold: some TV-ready combination of first-person interviews, verité observations, archival footage and informational text. Whether it’s the tyranny of broadcast television executives or the conventional training of most documentary filmmakers, Sundance was awash in issues, not artistry…
Link to blog.sundancenow.com