Cinevegas X Review – Women in Boxes

     June 20, 2008

It’s been said that behind every great man, there’s a great woman. “Women in Boxes” shows that no saying applies better when it comes to the relationship between a magician and his assistant. Much like the last Cinevegas documentary I reviews, “Where I Stand”, this is a film that will always play better among those in the know, in this case, magicians and their assistants (the ones present at the screening absolutely loving it). Also like “Where I Stand”, there’s still universal appeal and it’s still highly enjoyable for outsiders such as myself.

I must admit that documentaries such as these are a personal favorite of mine. While docs exploring major issues like healthcare reform or the Iraq War are illuminating and worthwhile, I love films that loving look at a specific subculture. In this case, it’s magicians’ assistances telling it like it is and there’s no question that goes unanswered. I was impressed that not only did the film provide me with the history and the personalities of its subjects, but actually addressed sub-textual questions of sexism and spectatorship.

Despite taking place entirely in the world of stage magic, the directors didn’t see fit to add some of their own razzle-dazzle, instead making it a collection of talking heads and clips. Thankfully, with clips so entertaining and women (sometimes with their male counterparts) so fascinating, it’s enough to ignore the shortcomings of the presentation.

Despite its relatively short run-time, Women in Boxes, is a multi-faceted look at an over-looked group of talented women who should be receiving the top-billing but at least in this film, they’re finally getting the credit they deserve.


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