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The Independent Critic

Conceived and Directed by
Nico Sabenorio
Featuring
Jordan Bowley, Stephen Clarke, Tim Witte
Running Time
26 Mins.

 "Bout That Bout" Review 
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There are a couple of things you learn rather quickly once you become a film critic.

First, you quickly realize that "liking" a film and its subject matter is completely and utterly irrelevant. A good film critic doesn't tell you if a film is good or bad, but helps you decide if the film is right for you.

Secondly, a good film also quickly realizes that "liking" a film is simply not enough. While being entertained, inspired, educated or otherwise changed by a cinematic experience is nearly always a plus, an effective critic can look beyond their own enjoyment into the actual art and skills involved in the filmmaking process.

I didn't "like" Nico Sabenerio's Bout That Bout, a short doc centering around a group of Florida high school students who go about creating an underground and illegal fighting club (think Fight Club).

I do, however, appreciate the film and Sabenerio's ability to capture this group of high school seniors in a way that exudes honesty without necessarily succumbing to the boredom created faux machismo that permeates seemingly every cell of this small Florida town. 

In a mere 26 minutes, Sabenorio manages to spotlight the key players in this fighting club while also exploring the culture of a small town and how this culture plants the seeds that would grow such a club. It's not necessarily that these are violence prone young men, but rather they are caught up in the trappings of a life and environment that fails to inspire, empower or challenge. As a result, these young men seemingly create a world in which they can empower themselves, challeng others and, in the absence of inspiration, it is primarily their own desperation that ultimately shines through.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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