REVIEWS

"Just as voiceover and story arcs are endemic to most theatrically distributed docs, exposition in most selections here is, by inverse convention, DIY. Thus you get the extraordinary postwar Uganda dream flight of Kimi Takesue’s Where Are You Taking Me?, which begins by dropping us in medias res at a bustling curbside in Kampala before tunneling through bubbly weddings, soul-thrumming drum circles, a girls’ weightlifting tournament, and more. Takesue’s askew angles, sealed-off compositions, and embrace of return glances foster the strange beauty, humor, and disorientation so rare in the global glut of hard-drive-dump docs. The physical grace of her subjects and the detergent-ad brilliance of the colorful clothes don’t hurt, either, nor does the music. (A little girl taking her turn in a breakdance-off is alone worth the price of admission.) But the secret weapon here is Takesue’s unnerving ability to zoom with uncanny focus into (and out of) individual perspectives—with or without close-ups—building to one electric encounter with her outsider-chronicler status: “Why you want to go with it there?” asks one seemingly edge-of-tears teenager of his New York–bound image."
-Nicolas Rapold, The Village Voice
"…Where Are You Taking Me is an uplifting observational documentary that plays on seeing and being seen. Though the premise of commissioning non-Africans to reveal the "Dark Continent" to (largely) white arthouse audiences can be seen as suspect, Takesue's beautifully meditative work is aware of its outsider status… Lovely transitions, via image and sound, and striking compositions make the pic an enriching experience."
-Jay Weissberg, Variety
"CRITIC'S PICK WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? For the first several minutes of director Kimi Takesue's documentary, viewers may well be asking the question in the film's title. Delivered sans voice-over or any establishing context, Takesue's film drops the audience into an elliptical journey through layers of life in modern Uganda: a high-society wedding (whose groom looks like he's attending a funeral); a female weight-lifting competition; a break-dance battle that's stolen by a young child. Once you're acclimated to the unforced pace, the wonderfully composed images (some quite painterly) wash over you. It's only near the end that any reference to the country's bloody history arises, and you realize you've been watching a poetic corrective to lingering stereotypes. (Regal; Sun., June 20, 7:30 p.m., Mon., June 21, 9:45 p.m., Thurs., June 24, 5:15 p.m.) (E.H.)"
-Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly / Critics' Pick
"Stellar...Takesue's documentary took the explosive subject of former Ugandan child soldiers in an unexpected direction; instead of choosing the usual routes of investigative journalism or bombastic commentary, the film keeps its distance from the traumatized youngsters and observes them with detached empathy as they readjust to 'normalcy'."
-Richard Porton, Cineaste
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