Directed by: Padrick Ritch / Dylan Stryznski
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The Life We Make
When it's time to sit back and chill with a documentary or two you have no shortage of options. There are slick, polished spectacles from the big-wig studios and television channels, there are indie gems, and then there are micro budget titles that if nothing else, offer personality over X million dollar setups and graphics. It's here you'll find niche titles that as a rule of thumb, are usually very interesting. Everyone has a story. Every hobby, indulgence and craft and The Life We Make has chosen the traveling artist as it's topic; and went all or nothing.
With two directors at the helm, Padrick Ritch and Dylan Stryznski viewers of this little spectacle that could learn the ins and outs of the cliche starving artist. What it takes to be a success, what one defines as a success, and the life these traveling salesmen/women make for themselves. Make no mistake, the artist is a salesperson but one that creates what they sell. Putting their amazing if not sometimes weird works into the world, and possibly into your living area or garden. It can be a gypsy life but in the end, those interviewed in this title wouldn't trade it for anything.
Being a niche documentary, it's a certain kind of person that will really enjoy this film. A certain grain of individual who will relate for the most part but don't be scared off by this notion. The Life We Make is rammed full of personal stories, personality, and even some history that will tide over even the harshest of critics. That is done through the stories of the various interviewees, their history and love of art. We hear firsthand how they started, how they grew and what was going on around them in some cases. From moving out of the city to a vastly cheaper country/middle of nowhere setting, to "A-HA" moments in the lives of these artists. There are volumes of information to be absorbed all in the name of finding out what it's like to be an artist working at the fair and festival locations.
What did surprise me about this title was the lack of coverage regarding the actual artistic process of these people. By no means is this topic left completely out in the cold, but I can't help but wonder if more attention was given to this process, would more people be able to relate? What is featured, is more like "matter of fact" coverage that was worked in almost by accident, or as an afterthought. I'm all for the stories, histories and fairs themselves, but would have loved to have seen more regarding the creativity.
The Life We Make is interesting enough to keep the casual viewer interested, but not interesting enough for them to be having a conversation about it at the water cooler the next day. For the die hard traveling artists in the world that live this life and those who may be considering, there's a lot to mull over in this film. A genre title most definitely, but one not contained to just artists and traveling artists alone. A solid documentary. Thank you for reading.