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Xander K (ag) wrote: Probably too long for its own good, but still takes you on a fascinating ride of hero-worship and villain scapegoating surrounding a tragic set of events.
William W (au) wrote: Excellent and fair coverage of a tough subject. The rare doc that doesn't have a slanted POV but really just wants to get to the truth.
Walter T (jp) wrote: From the Ashes should be required watching in Washington DC and in coal country. Surprisingly balanced, it paints a realistic picture of a world rapidly moving away from coal as an energy source and its devastating impact on jobs. The politics of coal dominates America and our ability to solve this has profound impact on literally millions of families directly or indirectly impacted by this industry. Go see it.
Vince A (fr) wrote: Very good documentary. It's frightening to see what a mob mentality, hero worship and obsession can do to a community. Happy Valley is filled with nut cases who spent more time making themselves and Joe Paterno into victims than actually caring about the real victims of child abuse. It's sickening.
Ursula L (mx) wrote: This documentary really disturbed me. As if the crimes committed weren't bad enough, this whole view of the town where Joe Paterno and the football team were "victims" is shameful. The university and the town are complicit in my opinion, because if it wasn't for the reverence of football above all else, these people wouldn't have had their blinders on to not see a child molester among them. Well done documentary, but the topic left me feeling sick.
Stuart P (mx) wrote: An interesting documentary about blame, scapegoating and idol-worship.
Shawn G C (br) wrote: Fantastic, essential NYC documentary filmmaking.
Shaun T (jp) wrote: Must-see doc chronicling the Penn State scandal. Brutal.
Shari B (es) wrote: This low-budget film exceeds expectations most have for something produced without a Hollywood budget. Superbly directed by Eric Trenkamp, this film does not rely on special effects or fancy stunts, but on superb acting (Michael C. Freeland is phenomenal in the leading role) and great writing to portray the persona of an American terrorist and the people that surround him.
Sal M (es) wrote: I've seen it twice now and loved it more after the 2nd viewing. Looking forward to a third!
Ryan V (kr) wrote: When we love a famous person (in this case a revered coach), we are all too willing to overlook or disregard any and all information that makes us reexamine that person. If you have any illusions that Joe Paterno was a great guy and did all he could to prevent the rape of children, or that he truly knew nothing about it, you owe it to yourself to watch this.
Ryan L (ca) wrote: Happy Valley is a well made documentary that sets out to show how a community defined by their unwavering dedication to their All-star football team and god like couch of over 60 years--Joe Paterno--are caught up in a whirlwind of unbelievable accusations. This documentary captures what happens when a community is divided by a dark secret that has been under everyone's nose the whole time; and how some with the power to make a difference turned a blind eye. Happy Valley is a brutal 'must see' that will challenge your ability to withstand the horrors that are depicted and discussed.
Paul D (jp) wrote: Informative, but not very interesting. People go too far when looking for blame.
PJ E (gb) wrote: This film shows everything wrong with millennials. Instead of having compassion for the victims, they riot in the streets and get in fights because their hallowed authority figure gets fired. A great chronicle in a crazy passage in time. Happy Valley isn't happy at all.
Nick U (jp) wrote: 5/29/15 AmazonHow the mighty have fallen. Somewhat a rehash of a story with extensive coverage as it was happening but lots of new interviews and a really strong presentation of the feelings of family and friends and Penn State students to the whole sordid affair. Very well done.
Nathan M (ru) wrote: With respect and care, #happyvalley paints a portrait of a town, a family, and a man destroyed by horrific events. Without pointing fingers or laying blame, the film is able to investigate thoroughly and emotionally tell the story in a compelling way.
Melania Z (nl) wrote: not bad. was actually expecting a deeper insight into Sandusky's background to be honest. instead it focuses mostly on the whole Joe Paterno - Penn State Univ. fiasco.
John S (gb) wrote: Powerful. Fair and balanced. Examines a tragic issue without oversimplification.
John H (es) wrote: I liked this documentary very much. Watching people involved in the unchecked crimes of Jerry Sandusky give their side of the story was much more revealing than reading quotes. Matt Sandusky, Jerry's adopted son, impressed me as thoughtful and sincere. He did his best to be fair to Sandusky, saying that ninety percent of the time he spent with the man was everything a kid would want--association with fame, access to football games, etc.--but the other ten percent "would destroy you." I was shocked when Matt, at the end of the film, said that not one single person from the Sandusky family contacted him after he went public about how Jerry molested him. What kind of people are Dottie and her relatives? If they didn't believe him, you would think someone might want to talk with him and ask him to take back his "lies." But no. That didn't happen.The one thing missing from "Happy Valley" was any mention of the well-known fact that Paterno decided that some of his players who broke into a residence and beat people should not be put into the legal system. Paterno clearly believed that he and his players were above the law. He decided the law-breaking players would clean up the stadium after some games. It's also known that then-President Spanier and other higher-ups in the Athletics Dept. all agreed that Paterno was in charge of things like this. This piece of history is a big deal. It should have been in the documentary.The behavior of some of the residents of Happy Valley was detestable. There's an extended scene in which these idiots don't hesitate to grab a sign from an older man making his negative view of Paterno known at the statue of the coach. A woman who wants a selfie with the statue pushes the man aside with her body. Others get in his face with red-neck-type logic. It's scary to see how conformist the community could be---all worshipping a football program. This film had to be made, and it was made well.
Joel M (jp) wrote: **** GoodJerry Sandusky's unspeakable acts sent shockwaves in the Penn State campus. Jerry Sandusky is no longer part of society, and that is a very good thing, because his disgusting acts preyed upon young children is as horrific as it gets. Amir Bar-Lev's documentary "Happy Valley" focuses on how the Sandusky crimes impacted the Penn State campus and its "happy valley" society. Sandusky was a former Penn State football assistant coach who opened up a camp for disadvantaged children. Penn State society thought the world of Jerry, which included his boss the infamous Joe Paterno. Then when Sandusky's child molestation charges came into the limelight- a whirlwind of controversy, divisiveness, and shame soon followed to the campus and its city. Paterno was in the middle of the controversy as he was a central figure blamed for not reporting when he was aware of Sandusky's acts. By no means "Happy Valley" is an easy watch, but an important watch no doubt on how one man's despicable acts could have profound impact on first the victims, but also on an entire society; Bar-Lev excels in bringing that to the forefront. "Happy Valley" will in no means make you happy, but it is recommended for its societal focus at how one man's crime impacts an entire community & university.