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Date Submitted: 09/24/2012 08:16 PM

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Leslie Pervere


English 1-3

5 April. 2011


Spellbound, released in 1999 is an insightful documentary following eight children participating in the National Spelling Bee. It shows the backgrounds, culture, and supporters of each contestant. Spellbound is an effective documentary showing detailed backgrounds and cultures of the people involved in the National Spelling Bee.

This documentary has many strengths, but also many weaknesses. One strength of this video is the sequence of events. It is clear, and easy to follow. The video focuses on the parents of the contestants as well. I was always able to understand clearly what they were feeling and experiencing. It was also made extremely clear in the documentary what the background and culture was of each family of the contestants. I always knew how they studied, who helped them study, and who supported each contestant. Despite all of the wonderful strengths of this documentary, there were weaknesses. The camera angles were frequently too close to the person’s face, making it uncomfortable to watch. I was often distracted by the backdrops of the interviews. I frequently found myself looking more at what was happening around the interviewee than actually listening to what they had to say. For example, when they were interviewing one of the teachers, there was a gigantic stuffed bear she was holding. This distracted me from the point of the interview and was extremely irrelevant. There were often scenery shots that were unnecessary and drew away from the point of the documentary. For example, when they would show the clips of the road to each person’s house, I think they showed the clips for too long. The sound during the interviews was occasionally overpowered by the music played in the background. The thoughts of the parents were important to hear, but I think the interviews should have been more focused on the children and how they felt. It appeared to me that the same opinions were...