Movie Review - The Beauty of Barbara Allen (Short)
|Sheila Kay Adams in 'The Beauty of Barbara Allen'|
Director Jackson Anthony begins this documentary, short subject, with an old man reflecting on the past and his memories of life in this area. He then starts to sing an old folk song. The lyrics to which include this movie's titular name. Except, the old man pronounces the name "Brie Allen."
One after the other, Anthony introduces us to eight or so residents of this area. Each of whom are musicians. Many play bluegrass instruments like the fiddle or the banjo. One woman is even a vocalist. Anthony has these people talk about the music and how it relates to where they live or even how they live. Interspersed are scenes, rather pastoral, of the area. Whether it's fields of grass or electric power-lines, Anthony's camera looks at them lovingly, while the old man's singing carries the images like a cinematic stream.
It's a good use of music and song to convey not necessarily specifics, which we do get, but more of a general feeling about a place, an emotion. It's using sound and the rhythm of bluegrass to connect us with this place and the lives of the people in it.
Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for general audiences.
Running Time: 27 mins.
For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraAllenDoc