T500FC, 415th: Sherman’s March (Ross McElwee, 1986)


So, what about doing a documentary of a war that happened decades ago? There you go trying to find an answer, jumping from one place to another. But in that process, you gained something else, something about yourself, which is quite weird since your aim, went off a lot of degrees and right now, the people who saw what you saw, thinks that you were probably right anyway. Without knowing that what you wanted didn’t push through and instead, you got something more, or in this case a less of it. It is weird, right?

Sherman’s march is part of the civil war, where it is the story of General Sherman, the guy who came up with the idea that during the war the opposing forces, if ever they win in a certain area, should also kill everything in sight plus pillages all the available natural resources. And that is what the director wanted, to make a documentary of a supposed important part of U.S. history. What happens then is while he is trying to document everything, he includes potshots of his supposed love life. Where he shows his take on love, women, and his bad take on relationship.

The only thing that I can say about this film is it was too long. But you can’t actually say that it was too long since the film is like a big bowl of his failures with women that he had relationships with plus a meeting up women while doing the documentary. And it was quite sad to see a person tumble from one scene to another. It would’ve been better if he was able to edit a lot of scenes smartly since the moment the viewer gets the point of the film, the rest of the movie is just plain tiring.

Though it was kind of awesome to see the director’s failures, which would make you go schaudenfraude, much more can be said as you go along, while watching the film. Psychologists and psychiatrists would probably rejoice to see the sad, sad life of our protagonist in this film. It was as if he ends up with a lot of failures regarding his love life that he can’t even look at himself on why it is happening. Somebody should tell him that it is not enough to just stalk a person and being stupid, to the point where he lived for a few days in his former lover’s place along with the ex plus her current beau.  Happily, the movie didn’t provide us any cringe benefits, more of I wish our hero wakes up by one slap on the face.

I hope the life lessons of this guy would be a learning experience for him, though it doesn’t look like that way. I know the Western people have this idea that everything always fall on the right places, but it isn’t. Despite a certain disarray for the film, we can always say that the human life, if it gets interesting, would be watchable whatever garbage is in it and I know I can’t say that I am glad I saw a pity movie, I’d rather charge it to experience that sways to the human nature instead.


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