Library Movie Review

Irene Wood sent this along originallyAnn Ferrari has written a nice movie review and was kind enough to share it with us:

I few weeks ago I watched a great British movie called \"Shooting the Past\"
which was a Mobil Masterpiece Theater production in 1999. It\'s the best
and most suspenseful portrayal of a library that I\'ve ever seen in a movie, so
I thought I\'d write up a review. (By the way, it\'s available for sale from
Amazon.com, and I managed to borrow it through my local library).


Shooting the Past is the story of a British photographic library housed on
an old estate......I few weeks ago I watched a great British movie called \"Shooting the Past\"
which was a Mobil Masterpiece Theater production in 1999. It\'s the best
and most suspenseful portrayal of a library that I\'ve ever seen in a movie, so
I thought I\'d write up a review. (By the way, it\'s available for sale from
Amazon.com, and I managed to borrow it through my local library).


Shooting the Past is the story of a British photographic library housed on
an old estate. The collection contains 10 million photographs and is run
by a small staff of librarians. The estate has just been sold to an American
businessman who plans to turn the property into a business school. He
writes to the assistant librarian to let them know that the collection
needs to be sold, as it will not be part of the new school. The eccentric
assistant librarian neglects to tell the rest of the staff, and when the
movie opens, the new owner has just arrived to find that the library is
still intact. He is furious and informs the head librarian that she has
one week to find a buyer or they will face the destruction of ten million
photographs.


In order to convince the new owner that the collection is worth saving, the
librarians assemble a series of stories linked to various photographs in
the collection -- sort of a librarian\'s Sheharazade. One of the most
fascinating is one they put together with photographs of the life of a
young Jewish girl during the Holocaust that they assemble from various parts of
the collection. The final story of the movie that the librarians
ingeniously weave together is a series of photographs involving the
American owner\'s Irish grandmother (and mysterious stories from her past that have a
huge impact on the owner).


I won\'t give away too much (or how it ends) but definitely try to get a
copy of this movie (and leave a lot of time to watch it, as it\'s a two-video
series, and so suspenseful that you\'ll want to watch it straight through).


It gives a great portrayal of the librarians in the film as extremely
resourceful, able to find virtually anything in a non-computerized
collection, and very creative at putting together information in order to
try to save their collection. The photographic stories that they tell are
spellbinding and the still photography is beautiful, as is the music. The
acting and writing is wonderful, with lots of droll British humor thrown in
amongst the drama. The theme of library closure is also a powerful one,
and the hard-fought battle was inspiring.


If anyone else has seen it, let me know how you like it. My email is
ferrariann @ hotmail.com


Cheers,


Ann Ferrari
Behan Health Science Library
South Hills Health System
Pittsburgh, PA
ferrariann@hotmail.com

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