The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Film Reviews

By Barry Johnson, March 16, 2001, Screens

How's Your News?

D: Arthur Bradford (Video, 82 min.)

"How's your news?" may seem an odd question to ask a stranger, but in this documentary about disabled adults who travel across the country as news reporters, it isn't the question that matters. Bradford's film is a tribute to his subjects, often sweet but never exploitative, capturing the public's response to encountering these five individuals with a camera, a microphone, and more insight than you might expect. The film is carefully edited as it moves from New Hampshire to Los Angeles and speaks volumes about how people young and old, black and white, react to the disabled. The answer varies (and in surprising ways -- see what happens in Venice Beach). There are occasional moments of discomfort, but Bradford's compassion for his subjects makes the whole experience rewarding, as do the moments he captures along the way. The delight on the face of reporter Ronnie Simonsen as he discovers his hero's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is enough to tell you that the outcome of How's Your News? was never as important as the journey itself. (Bad Dog, 3/16, 1:30pm)

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