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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (3)
It would be nice to know if the troubling images we see are a sweeping problem or just a small glimpse of a minority.
An agonizing documentary examination of polygamy in Bali, Indonesia, from the U.C.L.A. anthropologist Robert Lemelson.
Lemelson's interviews can be repetitive in their direct staging, but there's inspiration in his conceit of using a shadow-puppet performance set to gamelan music as interludes.
Lemelson makes these revelations more powerful by withholding judgment. Like a good scientist, he seeks understanding, and structures the film in chapters that explore such basic topics as "Power," "Violence," and "Divorce."
Intelligently assembled by Lemelson, a UCLA anthropologist, it addresses a Westerner's concerns without condescending to its subjects.
A moderately interesting docu study of polygamous families in Bali that's too narrowly focused to support its larger conclusions.
You'll end up feeling for the women in "Bitter Honey" and despising the predators who victimize them. Steel yourself upon entry.
The takeaway: Polygamy is complicated, something the average person could probably figure out without too much heavy thinking.
An eye-opening look behind Bali's profile as a tourist Shangri-la.
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