Every once in a rare, long while, a film appears with such a sweeping gust of rejuvenation that it has the power to restore not only one’s faith in cinema but in humanity as a whole. These miracles—some minor, some major—are truly blessed creations. They exist on a timeless plane, feeling both brand new and classic at the very same time. They are worlds unto themselves, borne out of a passionate vision, torn from the spiritual recesses of an individual’s soul and transferred miraculously onto the big screen. Benh Zeitlin’s Glory at Sea is one of these miracles. If ever a short film deserved to be written about as a feature, Glory at Sea is it. Which is what makes Zeitlin’s epic spectacle even more stunning. By the time the film’s closing credits appear—after just twenty-five minutes—it feels like one has been taken on a deeply lasting feature-length journey.
I first posted those words back in may of 2008, but they ring as truly and loudly as they did back then. Read the rest of my gushing review, but only after you’ve experienced Glory at Sea for yourself:
— Michael Tully