Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Daniel dives into the much-loved 'Dumbo' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, The World's Best Film, The, World's, Best, Film, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Joshua Belinfante, Documentary

THE WORLD'S BEST FILM

★★★

A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Joel Kalkopf
2nd July 2020

Many documentarians will stumble onto interesting things if they just walk around with a camera and interview enough people, but what separates Josh Belinfante's documentary from these pretenders is that his travels were not without purpose.

Like so many before him, Belinfante was pressured by family to pursue a career with financial gain, but just before graduating as a lawyer, doctors found a large tumour in his lung and heart. Josh was diagnosed with an illness and told by medical professionals that with only a short time to live, he should "stop, stay inside and do nothing". However, after being given a second chance, he finally had the courage and determination to do what he always wanted: make films. And if you're going to make a film, why not make it 'The World's Best Film'? Armed with this newly-found drive to finally follow his dreams, Belinfante figured that if he is now pursuing his passion, surely there would be other people out there in the world doing the same thing.

Delving into the title a little deeper, Belinfante is obviously not trying to out-do 'Citizen Kane', but he is trying to find people from all walks of life who are the best in the world at something - and as is proven throughout the feature, that can really be anything. Dog sitters, puppeteers, cigarette "bummers", banana grillers, luthiers and town planners to name a few; these people excel in their pursuits not for money or fame, but because it's what they want to do. As we learn through Belinfante's lens, their excellence stems most importantly from passion, and secondary is practice.

'THE WORLD'S BEST FILM' TRAILER

There are 11 unique individuals we meet along the way and truthfully - admitted by Belinfante himself - a lot of them can be questioned as to whether they really are the best at what they do. Some are impressive, others genuinely fascinating, but all in all they are all just people who are doing what they love, and that's what imperative for Belinfante's recovery. Audiences discover through the journey that while the excellence comes from the passion, even if they aren't the very best in the world at it, at least they can say they have given it their best try. It's a lesson that is important and meaningful, but we probably didn't need to follow 11 different people to get that message across, especially as the core of Belinfante's final musings stem from conversations with his own family.

'The World's Best Film' can feel like a therapy session at times. Belinfante narrates his findings as he takes audiences along for his discoveries, which eventually leads to his peace of mind. He has found people who are living their best life, even if they are not necessarily the best in the world, because one doesn't need to be the best to find happiness. You can still be great, and as his mother tells him with an embrace to impart wisdom, you just need to try your best.

It sometimes feels like there are two different documentaries going on at once, and whilst they don't clash, they don't need to co-exist. On the one hand, the insight into the different subjects Belinfante interviews is interesting, especially the world's kindest cab driver from Bangkok, and the world's best (and I assume only) toilet tour guide in London. But then you also have people like Ivar who grills bananas, or Gabi who's a dog sitter, and it makes the documentary lose its momentum because, let's be honest, those aren't that interesting, nor impressive. On the other hand, we get insight into Belinfante's family and close friends, and there are many lessons to be learned from them, even though they aren't the best at anything. They are the ones who ultimately shape Belinfante, not only in the sense of their nurturing, but in their outlook and history. Somewhere in between everything in the feature is an endearing roots documentary waiting to be seen.

You can still be great, and as his mother tells him with an embrace to impart wisdom, you just need to try your best.

The lessons that Josh is trying to squeeze out of his subjects ultimately come out in spades from those closest to him. The only problem with that is that I left the documentary wanting to hear more about his family, and less about the gothic tailor who lives in Romania. Sure, he's an interesting specimen, but it supports the notion that maybe more research could have been done to find more excellent people. And yet, perhaps it would not have been better for it. It's due to the fact that these people aren't all that amazing in the end that allows for the lessons to be learnt.

Josh Belinfante is an inspiring person, and his story of perseverance is worthy of being heard. He is clearly skilled with a camera, and manages to capture the stories in a dignified and unassuming manner. Some parts felt like a travel show, and the energetic pulse of Stevie the world's best bummer feels out of place, but overall, he earns his therapeutic cleanse. 'The World's Best Film' could have benefited from deeper research or a bigger budget to explore further reaches of the world - but that takes nothing away from what it was able to achieve with limited resources. A skilled storyteller with a director's eye for human stories, Belinfante didn't make the world's best film, but he sure gave it his best try, and that is what's most important.

'The World's Best Film' made me genuinely question the paths I have chosen in my own life. To follow a passion is easier said than done, and you start contemplating on where your time is best devoted. There's not much more you can ask from a documentary than to think introspectively about its lessons, and it clearly imparted those in a meaningful enough manner that I'm still thinking about it.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 29m
DIRECTOR: Joshua Belinfante
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne Documentary Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
TRENDING23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
A Rainy Day in New York - A waterlogged romantic comedy
TRENDINGA RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKA waterlogged romantic comedy
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
Basic Instinct - 25 years of the erotic thriller
TRENDINGBASIC INSTINCT25 years of the erotic thriller
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Black Water: Abyss - Abyss-mally shoddy
TRENDINGBLACK WATER: ABYSSAbyss-mally shoddy
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
TRENDINGDARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
TRENDING23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us