Two films hitting theaters, today The White Ribbon and The Most Dangerous Man in America, have one thing in common—they’re open-ended.
The White Ribbon recently received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film, but its meandering plot line and inconclusive wrap-up are cause for distraction. An underdeveloped story and overuse of dark, dramatic lighting can confuse the viewer enough to give up on the film before it even finishes.
The documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America also lacks a tidy ending, but that’s mostly due in part to the parallels between the Vietnam War, the basis of the film, and the U.S.’s current conflicts in the Middle East. The film is about how Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg evolved throughout the Johnson Administration—how he was responsible for the bombing campaign in Vietnam, but was shocked by what he saw, and why he ultimately leaked the Pentagon Papers. The thrilling documentary draws comparisons between the hostile ’60s and the fragile environment today.
Read Tricia Olszewski‘s reviews of both films here.