Hot Docs 2016 Review: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Death by a Thousand Cuts looks and sounds amazing. That’s about the extent of the positive attitude of this reviewer towards Juan Meija Botero and Jake Kheel’s film.
Because something about this murder mystery cum historiography and ethnography of Haiti and the Dominican Republic seems to shout “important issues” and this feeling never truly translates into an objective look at the story within the heart of the film itself.
The words on screen distract from the action to such an extent that the resolution is not fully realized. In fact, the central murder at the heart of the film does not receive key focus, and is instead consumed by examining the struggle between the warring nations of Hispaniola, with the point of view of the filmmakers blotting out what could have been a compelling cross-border tale.
While the filmmakers delve into an interesting issue involving charcoal production, the film Death by a Thousand Cuts seems to be a little too inflammatory when the doc could instead cool it down a little.