8mm Review: The Last Repair Shop

As I mentioned on my post on Nai Nai and Wài Pó, I also screened The Last Repair Shop. Although this 40 minute short documentary is not necessarily Asian American related, I did want to review it and give it a shout out because the film is amazing! What is this film about?  Here is its YouTube description:

In a nondescript warehouse in the heart of Los Angeles, a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople maintain over 80,000 student musical instruments, the largest remaining workshop in America of its kind. Meet four unforgettable characters whose broken-and-repaired lives have been dedicated to bringing so much more than music to the schoolchildren of the recording capital of the world.

The documentary profiles four craftspeople (out of the 12 who work there) who volunteered for the documentary.

This review captured my thoughts perfectly:

“Throughout this film, which, if you have a beating heart and a kind soul, you will feel the stories deeply, you begin to understand that dealing with an ailing piece of musical equipment comes with a sense of anxiety and grief. Playing instruments teaches the students, and the listener, more than just a series of meticulously arranged notes. Something happens with the sound vibration that connects with our own. It helps us to see and feel things inside of ourselves, and it can aid not just in coming-of-age, but it sustains us as we grow.”

The Last Repair Shop filmmaker Ben Proudfoot was in a Q&A with Nai Nai and Wài Pó filmmaker Sean Wang at the screening I attended, which I recorded here.  Both of these shorts are nominated for an Academy Award.

Nai Nai and Wài Pó and The Last Repair Shop reinforce this thought of mine: everyone has a story to tell, but too often we are not listening, not taking the time to listen or not providing the platform to enable us to listen. These two documentaries are a great platforms for those in the films to tell their stories. Please consider watching them!

You can watch the film online for free here on YouTube:

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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