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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Saw the documentary Spellbound at the Carlton the other night, which follows eight American kids aged 12 - 14 as they prepare for the National Spelling Bee, and it was completely delightful. The first part of the movie introduces us to the kids and their parents, and we see the training regimes they're under. While a few of the parents seem to be a little on the extreme side, the kids all seem to be doing this because they want to, and while it's a lot of work they're getting something out of it. The second part takes us to Washington for the Bee itself, and I tell you as we go through round after round, hearing these kids spell words that I couldn't even guess at, the suspense becomes nearly unbearable.

It's been a good year for documentaries so far. I'm putting this one next to Lost in La Mancha and Winged Migration.