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SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

By Kimberley Jones, March 14, 2008, Screens

A Necessary Death

D: Daniel Stamm; with G.J. Echternkamp, Matt Tilley, Valerie Hurt, Michael Traynor, Konima Parkinson-Jones

First things first: It's not a documentary. SXSW was never coy about that, but if you just skimmed the log line, you could reasonably misread as fact the provocative premise of a filmmaker documenting in his thesis film another man's last days, from his decision to kill himself to his weapon-of-choice deliberations and final goodbyes. Still, savvy audiences will probably get soon enough that this is fiction, not fact (for one, everyone's entirely too good-looking and well-spoken), and knowing it isn't real doesn't diminish from the film's nerve-rattling watchability (there are, however, a few turns that are disappointingly telegraphed). At the film's first screening, one woman (who walked out, only to return for the Q&A), accused the filmmakers and the audience alike of ... oh, hell, I don't even know – something about the depths of moral degradation our nation has sunk to that we would stomach such a thing, real or not. Hey, that's entertainment.

Saturday, March 15, 7:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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