In a polished blend of real historical information and a fictional story of unexplained phenomenon from a seemingly credible narrator, Dr. Laura Gale (Mandy May Cheetham), The Gulf of Silence is so realistic, well made, and well crafted that it’s hard to remember this is a faux-doc and not a real documentary. Much like Dutch Marich’s Horror in the High Desert films feel like real true crime docs, Mina Rhodes’s grasp of how to craft a compelling science based documentary not unlike some of the most credible documentaries we’ve seen on topics like global warming is uncanny. The Gulf of Silence uses incredible sound design, a perfectly framed talking head in Cheetham’s Dr. Gale, and an impeccably written script paired with great newly shot and stock visuals to present one of the most impressive feats of the pandemic.
The festival’s categorization of The Gulf of Silence as the best-of-the-best of quarantine cinema is no hyperbole. The Ronald Reagan anecdotal story that Dr. Gale tells alone makes the film worth watching, but start to finish the film is a masterclass in how to make a strong, compelling documentary – whether real or fake. The film is so polished that it’s hard to believe this isn’t a project made by someone with significant directorial experience under their belt, notably experience of high budget, high production documentary. This is a film that looks and feels as well made as the high end documentaries with budgets of multiple thousand percent more than Rhodes was working with. Simply put, this is truly an impressive feat.
To say much more of this one does little justice to it. Watch it – simply put – watch this film as soon as you have the chance. Those in the greater San Francisco area can do so on the big screen this weekend. Others will have to wait, but likely not too long. Keep your eyes out for more info on this one both here at The Farsighted and at the director’s website, minarhodes.com.
The Gulf of Silence plays at 11:00 AM Sunday and information can be found at unnamedfootagefestival.com. Grab your tickets now and get your ass to the 4-Star.