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The Independent Critic

Georg Koszulinski
55 Mins.

 "Last Stop, Flamingo" Wins Best Documentary Prize 
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It's always a good sign when you pick up a prize at your first documentary out of the gate, and that's exactly what happened with Georg Koszulinski's unique and inspired 55-minute documentary feature Last Stop, Flamingo, the third installment in Koszulinski's Florida Trilogy. Taking one final critical look at The Sunshine State, Koszulinski investigates a region defined by imaginary histories and landscapes ranging from the drained and dredged river known as The Everglades to the man-made white sand beaches that pretty much make up Florida's coastline.

Keeping in rhythm with that sense of fact and fantasy is at the center of Koszulinski's fine work here on Last Stop, Flamingo, a film that weaves together reality and fantasy in such a way that I couldn't help but think quite a bit of the knock-out narrative feature Beasts of the Southern Wild.

While Koszulinski's focus is very much on Florida and its landscapes, he does an excellent job of weaving in stories of tremendous human interest such as Cyrus Teed's early 20th century founding of the Koreshan community and the more recent founding of Golden Gate Estates, the world's largest planned subdivision. There's an almost mystical quality about Koszulinski's work here as he reflects on the many ways that Florida's landscapes have been reshaped by human desires, and his reflections have a sort of melancholy to them that add up to an emotional depth that doesn't really hit you until the closing credits are rolling and you're realizing how absorbed you were in the film.

Last Stop, Flamingo picked up the Best Documentary Feature prize at the U.S. Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival, a fact that is particularly noteworthy because Koszulinski did shoot part of the film on Super 8 mm. While that approach certainly wouldn't work with every film, given Koszulinski's artistic sensibility it's a perfect approach that works abundantly here.

Last Stop, Flamingo may not play as well with those who prefer their documentaries rather straightforward, but for those who have an appreciation for the more experimental side of cinema there's much to enjoy with Kelly Gallagher's animation and original music provided by Joshua Myers & Ola's Backward Whistlers.

For more information on Last Stop, Flamingo, be sure to visit the Substream Films website linked to in the credits.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic