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Catfish | Documentary Review

by Wendy Hearn
(Atlanta, Ga. USA)

I recently watched another of HBO's documentaries called Catfish and found myself yet again compelled to review it. The synopsis of Catfish is a NY based photographer, Yaniv and his two film making buddies (one is his brother), happen to start documenting a friendship that starts between Yaniv and an 8yr old girl named Abby.


Abby finds one of Yaniv's photos that made it to a national magazine and takes it upon herself to paint a beautiful realistic rendition of his picture and sends the canvas to him as a gift.

Abby and Yaniv begin a friendship on Facebook and then he begins to send photos and she paints them and sends them back through the mail.

Yaniv also begins a friendship with the little girl's mother and very attractive sister with who he finds himself falling in love. Little by little some things start to not add up and Yaniv discovers his online friendships and courtships aren't what they seem to be.

Catfish Documentary Trailer


Catfish Documentary Review (cont):

There are some amateur-ish things about the film, such as the hand held video recorder and many shots of Yaniv slouching in his underwear. (I don't think any of them initially thought the film would be more than just a home project). But as the trio make an uninvited journey to Michigan where Abby and her family live, a real true human interest story unfolds.

The filmmakers were conscious enough to not make a spectacle confronting the family, but instead allowed the kindness of a true documentary subject to reveal their personal truth. The result is a full heart story of the reality of what one person can create using imagination and the internet.

-Catfish Documentary Review Comments Below



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Feb 10, 2012
Rating
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excellent
by: Faith

Wow, amazing documentary. How many of us would pick up a camera and follow a story like this all the way through. The filmmakers had the guts to continue forward and the grace to treat the family with dignity. Refreshing in this world of Jerry Springers and hyped-up reality TV. Five BIG stars for this one. Special kudos to the editor for weaving together the story in a way that kept me hooked, guessing and amazed the whole way through.

Feb 06, 2012
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I enjoyed it
by: Anonymous

I watched this documentary and from the begining the "family" just didnt seem right to me. They were all too perfect, they were a great looking family (not that there isnt any families like that) and they are all full of "talent". Yet, they found Nev. I thought to myself with all these talents and musicians, they couldnt find a person who has a connection in the Art world? Why did they have to go with someone they do not know? It was sad at the end and yet comforting to know that this lying crazy delusional lady was put out in the open for America to see. She lead Nev to believe that she was the person she so longed to be. She never realized she was making Nev fall for her. She was so caught up in all these web of lies and she could not get out of them. Nev was wonderful and to be honest I could not find the heart to go thru what he did. He went to her door step to "catch" her. I would of stopped talking the moment I found out that it was not true or felt it in my heart something was not right.

Feb 05, 2012
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Enternecedor y la Realidad
by: Anonymous

Me encanto, como se muestra el dolor humano. Que te lleva a tratar de ser, cobardemente, la persona que quisieras ser. Cuantos imaginamos nuestra vida, fuera de la que realmente llevamos. Por otro lado, me encanto la humildad, la honestidad, y la valentía del protagonista, de hacer las preguntas exactas y llegar hasta el final. Muy identificada!! Niv fue la clave para terminar de impulsar la verdadera persona, llena de virtudes de Angela.

Jan 03, 2012
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catfish
by: Anonymous

Nev is a condescending jerk. Angela's paintings are excellent.

Oct 25, 2011
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Wow
by: Anonymous

Nev is simply charming, and the humanity and kindness he showed this sad, sad woman was simply beautiful. I totally enjoyed this HBO piece and immediately found myself looking to buy a piece of her art.

Oct 23, 2011
Rating
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I have tears
by: Anonymous

I WANT TO BUY ONE OF THE PAINTINGS!!! What a wonderful documentation of humankind! I want a painting to remind me!

Sep 05, 2011
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My Rating for Catfish
by: Wendy Hearn

I give the Catfish documentary a rating of 3.5 (4 stars here).
As a final thought..
In the end, when you meet the lady behind it all, it really stirs your humanity soul.

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