‘Rebuilding Paradise’ Review: When a Town Burns to the Ground

The most devastatingly cinematic images in “Rebuilding Paradise” arrive in the first 10 minutes. This documentary, directed by Ron Howard, opens with (mainly first-person) footage of the November 2018 wildfire that ravaged Paradise, Calif. We’re told it’s morning, but the sky suggests the dead of night. Traffic backs up. Horses run free. The low, tonal rumblings of the score — by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe — add to the sense of watching an apocalypse, or perhaps an alien invasion.

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