‘Whirlybird’ Review: Chasing a Story, From the Air
According to “Whirlybird,” a documentary directed by Matt Yoka, Los Angeles’ sprawling freeways – and the difficulties they posed in reaching current events quickly – prompted Zoey Tur, as well as Marika Gerard, his wife and partner in journalism at the time, to start reporting from a helicopter. They were stringers, explains Marika, and always needed new videos. Cars didn’t, especially after they became parents. There are poignant, albeit in retrospectively charming, footage in which their young daughter, Katy Tur, now an MSNBC presenter, assists as she accompanies them on a chase.
Once they got into the air, the couple gave the news service they ran a big boost and they were able to do some live reporting as well. They flew over the intersection of Florence and Normandy, filming the beating of truck driver Reginald Denny, one of the earliest incidents of the 1992 riots. The documentary features a lengthy account of how they found the Ford OJ Simpson’s Bronco. Marika says they were the first on the scene.
Drawing on an incredible stock of videos from the ’80s and’ 90s, “Whirlybird” is an editing feat. (The news clips and Marika constantly refer to Zoey by the name she was known by during the time period narrated, before a gender transition.) The film also contains elements of a psychodrama: building a business family around adrenaline is suboptimal for relationships. and health. Zoey had a heart attack at age 35. Despite the fires, floods and death toll, “Whirlybird” plays like a great family movie.
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 43 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or purchase on Apple TV, Google Play, and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.
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