Fearful Symmetry

blogjemThis documentary film, released in 1998,  is about the making of the movie version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.  It includes interviews with most of the major figures involved in getting the project off the ground.  Harper Lee, herself, is missing from the film but the actors, producers, director and screenwriter all appear, giving their accounts of what it was like being involved in, what became, a film classic.

As with all major successes, it is difficult to remember that when being made success was not guaranteed.  Added to that, there would be lovers of the book who would resent any treatment of the novel that fell short of their expectations.

The narration was a bit grating after a while, in my opinion.  The portentous style got on my nerves about ten minutes in but the candid interviews made up for this.  The most revealing anecdotes showed that, despite the subject matter, this was a Hollywood film and personal rivalries abounded.

Small town America was also examined; both the positive community aspects and the negative attitudes to race were examined.

The documentary is best watched by someone who has already read the book and seen the film.  It works best as a companion piece.



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