Since the quality of documentaries tends to hinge on how compelling its subject matter is, A House Made of Splinters is further complicated by the fact that Wilmont’s filmmaking is largely perfunctory. Thus its draw leans almost entirely on the children and their tattered lives. In this way it does feel a touch exploitative, even if the goal is to shine light on an overlooked, ongoing tragedy.
Stream A House Made of Splinters
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
I found A House Made of Splinters to be more heartbreaking than hopeful, but I admired the moments of beauty that Wilmont delivers in a film that isn’t quite consistent enough in its storytelling approach.
This is a predominantly observational affair, marked by unusual tenderness and human interest, shot with a camera that feels all but invisible to its subjects — belying the director’s delicate, precise approach to light and framing.
The film is a fine document of a few precious lives; what comfort can be taken from that is unclear.