Sunday, May 24, 2020

Documentary Review: There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

By: Allyssa Johnson/Co-Editor in Chief

The documentary, “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane” directed by Liz Garbus, tells the story of a wrong way driver, Diane Schuler and the car accident she caused. The accident dates back to 2009, and caused eight fatalities. The lone survivor being her son, Brian, who still has to deal with the lasting effects of the accident, such as his ocular dystrophy.

Liz Garbus managed to tell and explain Diane Schuler and her family’s story in an unbiased way, leaving it open for the viewer’s interpretation of what they think happened to Diane Schuler. Garbus branches out and gets the viewer evidence that most people wouldn’t even think of obtaining. The documentary presents the audience with evidence such as toxicology reports showing that she had ten shots of undigested vodka in her stomachas well as THC, a component of marijuana. Garbus also presents testimonies from her family, the other victim’s family, psychologists, and so many more.

The film tends to lead towards Diane Schuler’s family, and their take of what happened. Garbus draws a lot of emotion out of the audience when hearing the interviews done with the Schuler family. To add extra effect she adds quiet, depressing music to the interviews done with the Schuler family. To add extra effect she adds quiet, depressing music to the interviews. Garbus added photos of the victims when they were still alive, and that is what drew the most emotion out of me, personally. Seeing the young children’s faces really tugs at your heart strings. She also added photos of Diane’s deceased body at the scene of the accident. The photo may have appeared gruesome to some viewers, but it once again played an important role of bringing emotion out of the audience. Camera angles and the way in which it was filmed didn’t help add to the effect of the documentary. They were just typical angles used in most films. Garbus wasn’t afraid to poke and prod the interviewee to get a good testimony, but she did it in a tasteful and respectful way.

The part of the documentary that stuck out to me was the images of the victims, and hearing the witness’ testimonies. While the whole film was sad, these parts really hit the viewers. Hearing the toxicology reports and the non-related victim’s family’s side played a significant role in the documentary for me. It added a sense of truth to the article, that the Schuler family interviews lacked. 

Overall, I’d rate the documentary 4 out of 5 stars. The only drawback being that I wish Garbus would have interviewed more of the other victim’s families. The Schuler family had the tendency to switch up their story quite frequently. Will you be researching “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane.”

Allyssa Johnson
Allyssa Johnson is a 12th grade, third year journalism student. She walks to the beat of her own drum, usually in her fish slippers. You can find her reading, spouting sarcasm, or watching low rated movies. Her future goals are a secret that no one needs to know about.

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