For this year's program of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, it's best to bring tissues. Things can get emotional.
It's a cold soul who won't get hooked by "Inocente." The San Diego 15-year-old title character profiled by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, is a talented artist whose makeup and clothes are as arrestingly colorful as her canvases. She and her mother are homeless undocumented immigrants.
Kief Davidson's "Open Heart" travels with eight Rwandan children whose heart maladies (preventable in the developed world) require surgery. The nearest facility for subsidized modern treatment is in Sudan. The film examines health care in Africa by speaking with the children and their parents and doctors.
The rewarding "Mondays at Racine," by Cynthia Wade, spotlights a group of cancer patients who are experiencing hair loss and receive free beauty treatments and access to hats and wigs at a Long Island salon. Crucially, the clients receive moral support from each other as they struggle with the feeling that they're losing their identities.
Sari Gilman's "Kings Point" takes place in a South Florida retirement village. It's about New Yorkers who moved south with their spouses and are now alone among peers with whom they play cards and line dance. The subjects are candid about the superficiality of Kings Point relationships and their longings for something deeper.
A fifth Oscar-nominated short documentary, "Redemption," by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, was not available for review.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY:: 206 minutes :: Magnolia Pictures :: Coolidge Corner