Haven't had a chance to watch the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts? All Things Considered is here to help. In the week leading up to the Academy Awards, NPR's Audie Cornish talked with the directors of the five short films nominated for best documentary short.
The films tell a range of stories — about a preventable disease that's ravaging Africa and the quiet loneliness of Florida retirees, the vibrant art of a homeless teenager and the hard life of "canners," and finally a salon that helps women with cancer cope with their scars.
'Mondays At Racine': For Cancer Patients, A Salon Treatment
One Monday each month, sisters Cynthia and Rachel open the doors to their hair salon, free, to cancer patients. As filmmaker Cynthia Wade documents, the time at the salon spent with hats and wigs does more than address hair loss; it helps women cope with the physical and emotional scars of cancer. (All Things Considered audio and transcript, Feb. 22, 2013)
'Open Heart' Tracks A Killer Disease In Rwanda
Rheumatic heart disease, the No. 1 killer of American children 100 years ago, is largely gone in this country now. But it's still wreaking havoc in Africa, even though it's preventable with antibiotics. Filmmaker Kief Davidson tells the story of eight Rwandan children who need lifesaving cardiac surgery, and the one hospital that can help them. (All Things Considered audio and transcript, Feb. 21 2013)
'Inocente': A Harsh Childhood, Illuminated By Art
Inocente has every reason to be dark and grim. The 15-year-old from San Diego has been homeless most of her life. But as a documentary by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine vividly shows, the aspiring artist chooses to live life in full, vibrant color. (All Things Considered audio and transcript, Feb. 21, 2013)
In 'Redemption,' Collecting Cans To Survive
There's a rapidly growing group of people in New York City seen by almost everyone but known by almost no one: canners. They eke out a living collecting cans and bottles, redeeming them for a nickel apiece. And they're the subject of Matthew O'Neill and Jon Alpert's film Redemption. (All Things Considered audio and transcript, Feb. 20, 2013)
'Kings Point': The Sunny Promise Of Retirement, Clouded
For aging retirees, the best isn't always yet to come. In Kings Point, director Sari Gilman provides audiences with insight into the loneliness that can come with growing old, as residents of a retirement home discuss the raw, unromanticized realities of their daily lives. (All Things Considered audio and transcript, Feb. 19, 2013)