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Film Review: ‘Point and Shoot’ (Matthew VanDyke)

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Matthew VanDyke, Lauren Fischer, Nuri Funas, Ali Mohamed Zwi. Official Site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3576060/reference

A naive, adventure-driven videographer with OCD sees himself as the hero of his macho fantasies as he fights alongside rebels in Libya. 

Tribeca’s feature documentary prize confirms there’s an audience for this story of a low-key guy from Baltimore overcoming psychological handicaps to become his own version of Lawrence of Arabia. A healthy arthouse tour confirms its appeal, which will be furthered by PBS play. Two-time Oscar nominee Curry (“Street Fight,” “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”) encourages viewers to question the role of the camera, analyze the influence of videogames, and query the meaning of manhood. Yet what about the people VanDyke fights alongside? The Arab world is seen as an exotic destination of filthy toilets, desert landscapes and guerrilla soldiers, where an American with no battlefield training can help win the war against evil. Only the war wasn’t won, and Curry’s decision not to acknowledge this, not even a closing text panel, is deeply problematic.

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Point and Shoot

Emmy nominee and winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, POINT AND SHOOT tells the story of Matthew VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who left home inBaltimore USA, and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a multi-year, 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East.

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