Tonight I saw all five of the nominated films in the Documentary Short category. I'll present my reviews in the order the films were shown.
BLACK SHEEP (UNITED KINGDOM)
A first-person narrative by an African boy whose mother moved their family from London to Essex to be less susceptible to racist violence. Unfortunately, the area they moved to was run by racists and he suffered terrible bullying at the hands of the street kids. His solution was to become more like them so they would leave him alone ... and it worked.
A classic story of becoming a monster to defeat a monster.
END GAME (UNITED STATES)
An intimate look at several patients who are near death and their many caretakers working to make their last days and weeks the best they can be. By the time the credits are rolling you are invested in what happens to each and every one of these lovely people.
A testament to the good that remains in our world and the agony of the tough decisions that have to be made as we all exit this earth.
A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN (UNITED STATES)
Archival footage provides the burden of proof that 20,000 Americans gathered to celebrate the Nazi movement rising in 1939. This short film reminds us that even in our most diverse of cities, hate can fester and grow.
Chilling, horrific and sadly timely for today.
LIFEBOAT (UNITED STATES)
The organization Sea Watch, a German nonprofit, is responsible for saving over 35,000 people by rescuing refugees from the rough Mediterranean waters. This film explores the lengths they go to on a daily basis to perform those rescues and the severe trauma of the journey.
This serves as a sad reminder of what refugees face as they flee their unsafe home countries.
Women in a small Indian village are shamed by their menstruation cycles and finally they may be taking steps to overcome this—by producing modern sanitary napkins and selling them to area women.
An inspiring, uplifting look at female empowerment, entrepreneurship and necessary cultural shifts.
So, what's my pick to win? End Game will undoubtedly stay with me the longest, so that gets my vote.