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Hot Docs 2015 Review: Raiders!

The premise of Raiders! itself almost sounds too farfetched to be an actual documentary. But Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen’s account of three boys that dared to make a shot by shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the 1980s is actually true! Even more surprising is that they then teamed up again thirty years later to create that last most important shot, (the plane being destroyed), and yet old wounds remained.

Raiders! is as much of a tale of a missing youth as an examination of how childhood squabbles become adulthood squabbles. This is almost like Boyhood times three, and features one of the boys becoming almost as villainous as certain characters in Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Of course, the greatest difficulty of understanding Raiders! is that it is a film about the making of a film which is the recreation of another film. The experience is sort of like that of Tropic Thunder. But then the film reveals that the love of movies seems to triumph over all, (the recreation becomes almost like the Ark itself, threatening to melt the faces of all parties involved that dare to come too close to it).

The message, like many Spielberg films, and one assumes that of the recreation, is that the ultimate goal is coming back home. Raiders! takes us almost all the way there.

[star v=4]