Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I first connected with Adam Hootnick, director of Unsettled, a few years ago when he was still a producer at MTV News, and I was talking to them about Jericho’s Echo. At the time, I thought, “how many Adam Hootnicks can there be in this world?” and it turned out that yes, he was the same Adam Hootnick who grew up in my hometown and attended my rival high school. It also turned out that we were about to share another rare bond—Adam was getting ready to leave all things sensible in his life and go shoot an independent documentary in Israel. Been there, done that.
Fast forward a few years, and Adam was one of the first people I met with when I moved back out to the east coast. Lucky for me, I arrived just in time for the NYC premiere of his now finished documentary, Unsettled. Even though Adam and I don’t know each other very well, I felt a real rush of emotion at his successful premiere last week. I was so happy for him. I know what it’s like to take such a risk and pour your heart into something, and then finally enter that sold out screening filled with friends, family, and colleagues and to think, “Holy shit. I did it.”
And he really did it. Unsettled is an excellent film and you should go out of your way to see and support it. In fact, he is planning a cross country tour and you can contact his production company about bringing the film to your town. The movie is not only about a timely and important topic—the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza—but it is very well done, with a great sense of pacing and character development that truly (dare I say it?) engages the viewer. Plus, it has an excellent soundtrack…perhaps a skill gleaned from Adam’s MTV days. Documentary filmmakers will be particularly impressed at how Adam and only one other cameraman manage to intimately follow six young characters over the appx. six days of the operation, each of whom is in a different location and on a different side of the issue, without seeming to miss a beat. I really don’t know how they did it, and, for me, that added to the tension and intrigue of the stories themselves.
Adam, congratulations. I can’t wait to see your next films!