Sunday, December 15, 2019

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story

Movie Name: Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story
Year of Release: 2019
Director: Troy Miller
Starring: Kathy Griffin
Genre: Documentary, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Director Troy Miller has a lengthy career directing TV Specials, Awards shows, Comedy series, since the 90s. "Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story" details the aftermath of the event which took place when comedian Kathy Griffin, well known for her career as a Stand Up comic, TV Actress ("Suddenly Susan"), reality TV Star (her own show "My Life on the D-List"), decided to release a photo on social media, which many deemed controversial, causing the ire across the political spectrum, but also wrapping her life in a downward dramatic spiral she did not expect to occur. The documentary, self financed and self distributed by Griffin, captures how her life was impacted by the release of that controversial photo, and how the ripple effects of that same action have harassed and persecuted her ever since. The film also details some personal dramatic family moments, and how she tackled the challenges head on, starting with a worldwide tour where she performed for a variety of sold out arenas/auditoriums. The documentary then shifts, and showcases part of what her show/stand up is about. This documentary is a powerful statement, since it demonstrates how artists can be misunderstood, and even made destitute for standing by something (typically their point of view, on topics which can range from Politics, Religion and Sex). It could have benefited from having other participants providing their input, and even function as a larger reflection of how art can be controversial (it's easy to forget, but Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" was also met with a ton of controversy and noise generated by religious groups, the same going for instance for Robert Mapplethorpe's work, again with controversy brought forth by religious groups, and more recently, Madonna's "Sex" book and album, "Erotica", though this one eventually got more sanitized). This documentary is a statement on how different points of view can be polarizing, including farce/satire/comedy, but that in itself, shouldn't justify the actions the film depicts. Worth watching.