Movie Review: ‘Meltdown’ meltdown

Kevin Bryce

With the showcase of female filmmakers on Friday night, writer/director Estella Elliott screened her film “Meltdown.” “Meltdown” is a documentary about the ‘meltdown’ of the environment and America’s unwillingness to change.

“[It’s] to get people to re-engaged in their daily lives in a meaningful way and get people to start thinking about how climate change is not solely a temperature issue,” Elliott said.

But the film’s intention is its only strength. Unfortunately, the filmmaking lacks the creativity and engagement needed to cause effective change. The film consists of a panel of four, including Elliott herself discussing the ignorance of Americans toward the environment. But it stops there. There are no cutaways, b-roll footage, and film is a show-don’t-tell art form, Elliott’s “Meltdown” is all tell. It’s simply the four panelists discussing under the eye of one camera, panning back and forth.

While Elliott has a passion for film, it’s never been something she studied.

“I was a literature/psychology double major and I got my first camera when I was 13. So this is like a culmination of the two things that I love the most,” Elliott said.

The beauty of the Urban Film Festival is it caters to the passions of the up- and-coming filmmaker. And it’s given Elliott the opportunity to begin on her journey of film as an art.

“This is my first directorial debut. I’ve acted in some shorts and things like that, but nothing major,” Elliott said.

But despite the film’s unengaging qualities, props are owed to Elliott for her passion and pursuit.

“I decided to do the documentary because I thought it was more interesting and meaningful and the more that I read about what was going on, the more I didn’t understand why people just didn’t get it,” Elliott said.

The Kansas City Urban Film Festival is a great stage for those who want to create change even if they don’t have the know-how.

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