This review was originally posted in March 2008 on Spout Blog, which no longer exists. I am republishing here now because the film has finally been released. Look for it on DVD and VOD.
Daniel Stamm’s A Necessary Death is sure to be one of the most talked about films at SXSW this year. At least I hope it is, because I’m dying to have a discussion or two about it. Here’s my endorsement, first, so that I might influence someone to see the film and in turn have someone to chat with about it: Anyone who considers him or herself a fan of non-fiction cinema needs to see A Necessary Death.
I should point out, of course, that this is not exactly a documentary itself. It is a narrative feature structured like a documentary (I hate to call serious faux docs mockumentaries, so I won’t), but it was indeed written and it was indeed cast and it was indeed acted out. But if you love non-fiction and hate fiction, don’t let that keep you from A Necessary Death. An actual documentary couldn’t say as much about the genre as this film does.