WoodenBoat Magazine

“CHARLOTTE is a lovely portrait of a boatyard that connects ancient skills and methods, with a nod here and there to modern technology. This film is the next best thing to stepping into the G&B shop…”

“Filmmaker Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte beautifully portrays the boatyard’s day-to-day operations through changing seasons over nearly four years. Vignettes in the shop record the schooner’s progress from building her backbone, through planking and caulking her hull, finishing her interior and deck, to her celebratory launch under and azure New England sky. For me, watching the film conjured up memories of the resinous aroma of freshly cut wood, sawdust, paint and varnish – the smells of a working boatshop.”

“In CHARLOTTE: A Wooden Boat Story, director Kusama-Hinte and cinematographer Brian Dowley have captured the art of wooden boat building and the craftsmen who practice the trade. This is an extraordinary film, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in wooden boats or those who simply enjoy the creation of beautiful things. On dull days, when sailing isn’t an option, this is just the tonic.”

– George Jepson
CHARLOTTE: A Wooden Boat Story Review
– May/June 2012

Avalon Magazine

“This is how you make a film about community, traditions, things that cannot be bought and sold––but only earned through long, slow, patient work toward what you love, with those you love, on things you love.”

“You watch family, tradition, community, skill, and, most of all, the simple beauty of wood peeling into perfect circles when a man who knows what he is doing planes a beautiful piece of wood. There is no way I can summarize this movie for you. I can only describe the experience of watching it, being inside the creation of something so beautiful, so difficult, so requiring of craftsmanship, it is like you are building it yourself. And when that boat is launched, when that boat hits the water and the sails unfurl—you have never felt like this sitting in a movie theatre, ever.”

– Carol Dysinger
A Labor of Love about a Labor of Love
– Spring, 2012

Filmmaker Magazine

“It is precisely the love of artisanal creation that is celebrated in Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte’s Charlotte: A Wooden Boat Story, a verite doc chronicling the making of a 50-foot gaff rigged schooner, “Charlotte,” by a team of craftsmen working in a Martha’s Vineyard Boatyard. Focusing particularly on boat builder Nat Benjamin, Kusama-Hinte observes the painstaking and quiet work involved in building such an elegant craft over the several years required. In doing so, he eschews many of today’s accepted documentary strategies — pinning narrative on conflict, or allowing a character-based story to assume center stage. Instead, Kusama-Hinte focuses on the work, and he pushes us, the audience, to concentrate on its pleasures as well as its vexations, on the focus required to sustain it and the quiet satisfaction achieved by its final completion. With a lovely, Satie-like score by Paul Brill, Charlotte has a gentle, meditative power.”

– Scott Macaulay
An Interview with “Charlotte” Director Jeff Kusama-Hinte
– February 20, 2012