Radiant City

I’m not quite sure if you can call it a documentary, as it seriously pushes the boundaries of the genre, so I’ll just call it a film about suburbs. In documentary style, it examines the attraction and the bleak realities of suburban living. Focussing mainly on a typical suburban family going through their daily life, this film also has many interviews with developers and cultural theorists, all discussing the one thing – suburbs. This film is also all an illusion. It drags you in, claiming to be a doco, only to reveal that the characters you have grown to love and trust and simply actors. But the beautiful thing is, even after you are told that everyone was following a script, you quickly discover that the actors are just as down to earth and lovely as the characters they portrayed. This is subtly funny and incredibly well scripted film. In retrospect, everything was a little bit too perfect at the beginning. All the characters were just too perfect. The kids also didn’t look anything like their parents – and were more a Hollywood family than real life. It’s a film that really makes you think about urban growth and sprawl, but also about the nature of documentary film making. I really enjoyed this film – despite being tricked by the directors. It’s a very cleaver concept, which reveals what it’s really like to like in the suburbs, even though we were only watching actors.

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