WEEK 10: Denali

Denali 7mins 46secs

The documentary film, ‘Denali’, created by Ben Knight, Skip Armstrong and Ben Moon explores the tight bond and relationship photographer Ben Mood had with his dog who has died from cancer. The relationship Ben shared with his dog gave justice to the term “A dog is a man’s best friend”, and because of this, knowing and seeing this on screen, made the death of the dog severely impactful. You truly could feel the pain that Ben is feeling. The film is strictly narration driven and this allowed for Ben Moon to incorporate a variety of emotions and sentiments Denali. In its essence of production the film is quite simple. The cinematographer follows Denali and Ben on their adventurous, outdoor lifestyle and truly captures the bond the duo has together. The beach where they spend most of their time together, was well shot, and I for some odd reason am in love with the opening wide shot of the beach, I can’t get the image out of my head. As the narration develops, viewers get to see photos of both subjects from years before. This adds to the idea of the film being a sort of tribute to Denali who was alive for production but has passed before the film was released. The film adopts a point of view narration as though Denali was narrating his battle with cancer and his life with Ben who also had cancer at a point in time. This makes the narrative humorous but also adds to the sentimentality of the entire piece. One can really appreciate the connection humans can develop with other animals and in a sense the film promotes better treatment and appreciation for animals. This is because Ben himself has treated Denali so well that many can learn that this positively affects the overall life quality of an animal. The climax of the film occurs when it is announced that Denali has finally been put to sleep and the incorporation of music at this point allows for that emotional pull that viewers would feed on and expect to experience. The film was therefore successful in the sense that it wrapped passion and love into a beautifully shot, commemorative piece on a dog who quite possibly would have had one of the most fulfilling life experiences.



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