Thursday, July 5, 2018

Movie Review: 8 BROKEN HEARTS (2017)

Pain is something we all deal with at some point in our lives, and it’s something that can shape who we are as people.  But the true test is how we handle it and whether or not we allow it to control our lives.  This documentary showcases eight brave individuals who all bare their own form of pain and how they were able to deal with it.  8 Broken Hearts captures the stories of these courageous individuals who undergo a moving transformation by sharing their experiences and courageously baring their souls. As the film reveals, pain is a feeling that sticks around, often with great detail, but it is something that everyone shares.

Another key factor in this film is family.  As these stories are told, you recognize that family is a prominent through line, shaping these people’s life experiences and turning them into who they have become.  Family can, at times, cause more pain than anything in life.  These are people you love and trust, and who you want to love and trust you back, but when that love and trust is broken, all that’s left is pain and anger.  However, family can also bring you the most wonderful joy in your life.  8 Broken Hearts manages to do a great job highlighting both of these in a genuine and extremely emotional manner.

At the helm of this project is writer and director Sam Hurwitz.  He is an extremely talented and experienced filmmaker who has spent the last three decades working in the documentary field.  As a producer, Hurwitz has worked on docs for both film and television, including movies like Star Wars, Life of Pi, The Maze Runner, and Annabelle, as well as television shows like Teen Wolf and Scandal, so he definitely knows his way around a film like this.  His ability to capture the raw emotion in these stories is what made this film as good as it is.

Some of the stories in this film are so powerful and emotional, which is exactly what I was hoping for out of this.  However, not all of them grabbed me, which made the film a bit uneven at times.  I also believe it suffered from the lack of a real three-act structure.  We saw four stories in the first act, four more in the second, and then they all wrapped up in the third.  I felt like it needed to spend more time with each of these people to really get the full story out.  If the film had focused on just four stories and allowed them to breathe over all three acts, I believe it would have been far more powerful and poignant.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this documentary, as it brought with it some wonderfully emotional moments.  And even though what I wanted from it was a bit of a more tightened structure, it’s still a film that should be seen because the stories being told are important.

The Merc’s Score: 8/10

Be sure to check out 8 Broken Hearts on Amazon now!

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