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Case Number 15379: Small Claims Court

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Dear Talula

First Run Features // 2007 // 34 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Christopher Kulik (Retired) // January 8th, 2009

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All Rise...

For your consideration! Judge Christopher Kulik wants Academy voters to remember this powerful short.

The Charge

A new mother…winning the battle against breast cancer.

The Case

Meet Lori Benson, a 38 year-old aspiring filmmaker. Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Talula, she discovers she has breast cancer. A huge dark cloud emerges in her sky of joy, and now Lori must begin a battle which will consume many months. She goes through surgery as well as chemotherapy, with tremendous support from all of her friends as well as her husband, Jonathan.

An extraordinary, intimate documentary short subject, Dear Talula has a power and urgency which most feature-length films lack. Benson is one of the millions of women who are attacked without warning by this devastating disease. She boldly tells her story as a cinematic letter to her young daughter, who has a 50% chance of carrying the same gene.

What drives the film through its 34 minutes is Benson's perseverance and strength, with tongue firmly in cheek, as she turns this negative tide into an upbeat and inspiring one. Dear Talula could have easily become a depressing, Lifetime Channel-style weeper, and it ends up being a memorable must-see for all, particularly women. Hopefully this will at least be nominated for an Academy Award Best Doc Short Subject, as it already has received several accolades.

First Run Features gives Dear Talula a most respectable digital treatment. The shot-on-video, full frame presentation is clean and free of debris. The music and songs are treated to an effective DD 2.0 Stereo track, although there are no subtitles. Extras are better than expected, with a 3-min piece also directed by Benson with several interviews of breast cancer survivors and a 5-min look at Benson's journey in spreading her message. To top it all off, we have a gallery and a breast cancer guidebook, which can be accessed on your DVD-ROM.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 100

Perp Profile

Studio: First Run Features
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 34 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Drama
• Short Films

Distinguishing Marks

• Breast Cancer Guidebook
• Director's Notes
• Resources


• IMDb

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