SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! Documentary is a very flexible, and powerful genre. Its greatest power is that of observation. Sometimes, it can be a filmmaker narrating their observations over the visuals shot. Others it is the interviews with subjects that weave together the story. Still, some documentaries simply observe humanity going about its business. Director Jamie Meltzer’s not even for a moment do things stand still is an artful observation of humanity.
“…seeks to observe the various ways people mourn those they have lost; in this case, to Covid-19.”
With this short-form documentary, the filmmaker seeks to observe the various ways people mourn those they have lost; in this case, to Covid-19. Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, an active artist, prepared a two-week exhibit near the Washington Monument in DC. She had people plant a flag for anyone they had lost to the ongoing Pandemic. Sadly, though not unsurprisingly, the footnotes inform us 700,000+ flags were planted in the grass on the National Mall, as during not even for a moment do things stand still one sees a huge wave of little white flags dotting the terrain.
This quiet, contemplative piece holds awe-inspiring power. There was no need for commentary as the flag planters provide all the context you could ask for as a spectator. Meltzer has created a strikingly simple documentary that bears great resonance as the Pandemic shifts to an endemic nature. Hopefully, this means that the coronavirus will lose its terrible ability to kill. In September 2021, the first few waves had concluded, and it had not yet reached that point. People’s emotions were raw, and the film brilliantly captures that in small, almost silent moments.
not even for a moment do things stand still is a work of great art. Seek it out.
not even for a moment do things stand still screened at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.
"…holds awe-inspiring power."