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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Greater Southbridge

Greater Southbridge


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Feature: C



What is the ultimate point of Rod Murphy’s semi-documentary Greater Southbridge?  Is it to show the decline or potential of his old hometown in New England or to mock it constantly by making the persons living there look bad?  Is it to say they are ignorant or goofy?  What did he think he was doing?


If the attempt is to show persons struggling to do better and still be fine people despite any limitations (personal, educational, financial), it simply backfires.  We never learn enough about these people in depth, Murphy develops no ironic distance in what he shows and this adds up to an exploitation work, intended or not.  Though it has received some critical acclaim, it can only be from people projecting good will and better intents, not from the results of the content.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot on analog NTSC videotape and it shows with constant softness and muddy detail.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is simple stereo at best, made primarily of location sound recording on the tape.  It could have been worse.  Extras include a trailer and director’s commentary, but that is about all.  I would have liked to see more of what Murphy was doing in the content of the feature, but it is just not there.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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