Bitter Honey (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Bitter Honey
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.
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