In a way, it is almost unjust to see Pierre Bismuth’s Where is Rocky II at a democratic film festival such as Hot Docs. The film must be examined on its own merit, and seeing it among low-budget and labour of love films (not that this film isn’t a labour of love) reveals that looks wise, it’s a diamond. The production has values far and away above everything else, and feels like a Hollywood film, (which is funny because it’s directed by a Frenchman).
It is suspected that Pierre Bismuth modeled his film after Michel Gondry, learning at the feet of his mentor. Yet this documentary, (if it can be called as such) is so much more complex than that. It’s in essence a search for a fake rock in the desert, though it’s suspected conceit is have Milo Ventimiglia and Mike White and all types of familiar faces appear in an unfamiliar concept, putting on airs and acting within a movie and still have it be considered a documentary.
At the heart of the movie is a search, though the real search is how to classify this project. Not all of it works, but when it does, it shines.