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The Historian

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The Historian can be seen from January 2nd to the 8th at the Arena Cinema Hollywood. The film stars William Sadler, Miles Doleac and John Cullum and directed by Miles Doleac.

Historian

 
“Well paced indie film with a lot of heart. William Sadler’s performance is superb and on par with his bravado in big-screen blockbusters.”
–Paul Booth  (Film Critic) Rich Girl Network. TV

 

Synopsis:
Fleeing a personal tragedy, Dr. Ben Rhodes (Miles Doleac) takes a job at a new university, in a department chaired by once-celebrated historian Valerian Hadley (William Sadler), who now fights to rekindle his fading career while caring for an elderly father (John Cullum) whose health fades faster by the day. Both feel a duty to impart the lessons of the past, even though they cannot seem to come to terms with their own complicated personal histories. Further complicating matters is a promising but needy graduate student, Anna (Jillian Taylor), who worships one and is smitten with the other. This is a dark, funny, humane drama that puts academia under the microscope and finds a mirror of human nature.

 

The Historian is a tour de force of showing us the human experience. The director Miles Doleac, in the vein of (few) filmmakers like Orson Welles chose to co-write, co-produce, direct and star in his own film (Doleac managed to pull off four tasks). This film had layer upon layer of subtext in its brilliant screenplay that pulls no punches in examining life. On the surface the story is about academia, the politics of being a professor and how relationships effect our career.

 

To add to the magic, the director examines the good and the bad with the same respect. Too many films pick sides. The Historian values its viewer and does not make choices for you. The film is like a great teacher, it lets you decide what your journey will be. The film’s director somehow managed to never put more into his portrayal of Dr. Ben Rhodes than he did into a female character we see in multiple (significant) scenes. The other character was not just exposition, which every director does (even the best).

 

A great film is one that makes you feel the need to see it again. The Historian is the furthest thing from condescending, but does ask you to think past your audience chair. The film boasts countless subtle themes, that acknowledge life is school, career, relationships, family and then all the roots in between. The “ride” (life) is not black or white and there is no answer, is what the writer/director side of Miles Doleac is saying.

 

Film Review by: Paul Booth

 

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