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The Independent Critic

Stanley Bullock
Alexa Polar

 "America Foreclosed" an Informative Short Doc  
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America Foreclosed began when writer/producer/director Alexa Polar saw a flyer for a film contest on the campus of Orange Coast College for a scholarship pitch contest for a social awareness documentary. Polar took a shot at it and, you guessed it, ended up winning the contest and obtaining some of the funding necessary for a long envisioned project. Together with her production partner and fellow student, Robin Pabello, they went about raising the rest of the funding to make America Foreclosed a reality.

America Foreclosed is, as is probably rather evident by now, a social awareness documentary about the state of foreclosures in the United States. Polar utilizes to great effect a compare and contrast approach looking at the state of foreclosures during the Great Depression and that of what is referred to in the film as the Great Recession of recent years.

While it is certainly not possible to capture the entire spectrum of issues involved in the state of foreclosure within the confines of an 18+ minute short documentary, Polar does a terrific job of creating an accessible and understanding short film that draws you in and makes you want to further research the issue on your own. She utilizes interviews with those working in and around the real estate industry along with well used interviews from the academic, financial, and historical areas of economics.

Polar recruited additional fellow students to fill out her production crew including Lisset Mendoza and Nick Wiley as co-editors and Kyle Loghe, working with Verona, on the film's original music. The film's excellent lensing comes courtesy of Robin Pabello. Bob Lazarus, Film Department Chair, mentored the group throughout the project. The film is narrated by Stanley Bullock.

The end result is an informative and involving doc short that gives clear evidence of Polar's ability to balance both a social sensibility and a filmmaker's eye for how to present it all effectively. There were a few brief moments where I wanted her to let go of the need for gimmicky graphics in favor of simply trusting the power of her story, but America Foreclosed is a promising film from an up-and-coming filmmaker.

For more information on America Foreclosed, be sure to visit the film's website linked to in the credits on the left of this review.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic