Reviews

“Many questions are posed by this gentle, attentive and deceptively simple film.”
Alan Franey, Festival Director, Vancouver International Film Festival

“Bodman's simple yet lyrical film is reminiscent of ethnographic filmmakers such as Robert Gardner or Judith and David MacDougall, creating a filmic document that is both humble and generous to its subjects, with the conversation framing a sharp and universal analysis.”
Pablo de Ocampo, Artistic Director, IMAGES Festival

“…I was captivated. I don’t know how much of this world has been lost in the political upheavals of recent years, but what (was) recorded fifteen years ago is extraordinarily beautiful and moving.”
Lloyd Alter, www.treehugger.com

“The Limits of What We Know is an achingly beautiful eco-film… that explores…the restrictions on our understanding of the complexities and interconnectivity of the world and its inhabitants.”
www.greenmuze.com

“An alternative lens through which to view human aggravation; one that is older than humans, older than war and hunger and currency: the land itself.”
10205miles.blogspot.com

“It is the story of a country told with affection. Throughout the documentary the cinematography is beautiful. From the vast landscapes of the countryside to city life with close ups of animals, plants, art, instruments and people the imagery feels like the viewer is present. The pace is slow and gives the impression of a cross cultural experience....an excellent addition to a public library or academic library that supports programs in anthropology, history, African studies or cultural studies.”
Sue F. Phelps, Washington Sate Unviersity, Educational Media Reviews On-line

“Much of the area of film and video known as "documentary" has, under the influence of television, degenerated into a form false to its name and far from its original roots. Such works have a rather simple, even simple-minded, thesis, and every aspect is organized not in a search for truths but to support a single point. Voiceover narration instructs the viewer in how to interpret images, rapid montages are constructed to make the case, and the piece as a whole can verge on propaganda, treating the viewer as a passive recipient rather than an intelligent questioner. Such works present themselves as predigested consumable products, closer in rhythm and overall ethos than it might first seem to the manipulative "thrill rides" of Hollywood entertainments.

The very title of Amy Bodman's "The Limits of What We Know" suggests that it was made in conscious opposition to such pre-digested, smug confections. Bodman's film does indeed have a thesis, but one that cannot be articulated in a few words; the viewer discovers it gradually, through careful observation of the attitudes toward and uses of the land that she shows us. Land is understood in diverse ways, as a place of living, but also as a living thing, as important as any human or any group of humans. Its presence can be felt, and we come to feel that we, as a species, need to become far more conscious of the ways we use and abuse it. Because of the gradual way these ideas are unfolded, the viewer discovers them for herself, and not only does the theme become understood intellectually; it is also felt intuitively, almost pre-linguistically.”
Fred Camper, Artist, Writer, Art and Film Critic, www.fredcamper.com