Tag Archives: Documentary

October 18

imagineNATIVE 2017: Twilight Dancers

Far too often, an indigenous community makes the news because it’s dealing with a suicide epidemic. Cross Lake, Manitoba is one such community. In 2016 there were 140 suicide attempts in Cross Lake within a two week period. Six people were successful. Those staggering numbers are even more devastating when you consider that the population […]

October 17

imagineNATIVE 2017: Birth of a Family

Tasha Hubbard’s Birth of a Family documents the first meeting of a family torn asunder by racist government policies, decades after their separation. As infants, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie, and Ben were taken from their indigenous mother and placed into separate white homes across North America as part of Canada’s “Sixties Scoop”. The story of […]

October 16

imagineNATIVE 2017: Holy Angels

Most of us have heard about the terrible treatment of First Nations children when they were sent to residential schools. However, it’s only when we get a firsthand account of the harsh memories from a survivor do we realize exactly how much strength these children needed to get by in their day-to-day lives. The Holy […]

October 13

Interview: Alexandre O. Philippe on “78/52”

Alexandre O. Philippe is a practiced documentarian with a decided penchant for pop culture phenomena, especially films. In The People vs. George Lucas, he looked at the interaction between filmmakers and fans. In The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octupus, he commented on an octopus named Paul that correctly “predicted” eight consecutive World […]

October 06

Unarmed Verses

The Toronto Community Housing’s Villaways neighbourhood is viewed as a slum by some, but for 12-year-old Francine Valentine it is home. However, it may not be her home for much longer. With the area about to go through a massive redevelopment, one that will bring shiny new condos that most of the current residents will […]

September 27

Do Donkeys Act?

Did you ever have existential questions about donkeys? No? Well, move on. Or not. The truth is, you haven’t seen anything like Do Donkeys Act? It’s a documentary about donkeys, made reputedly by humans (Ashley Sabin and David Redmon), for the enjoyment of – donkeys? There are no talking head interviews in the film, very […]

September 16

TIFF 2017: There Is a House Here

There is a House Here is your standard wandering interview documentary, traversing through the town of Igluik, Nunavut to pose questions to the Inuit denizens about their lives, their homes, and their culture. Though there are moments of levity and optimism, the film is mostly a harrowing and depressing look at cultural extinction and childhood […]

September 15

TIFF 2017: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Grace Jones’ lengthy career has spanned the worlds of music, fashion and acting, so it is somewhat surprising that no one thought to make a film about her life until now. Thankfully Sophie Fiennes’ new film Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is here to fill that void. Taking an unconventional approach, the film forgoes the […]

August 20

Le Ride

The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan attempts to retrace the steps of New Zealander Harry Watson and his four man Tour de France team in Le Ride. Competing in the 1920 Tour de France, one of the toughest years in the sport’s history, Watson and three Australians (Hubert Opperman, Percy Osborn, Ernest Bainbridge) had no […]

August 11

Step

As the final credits began to roll on Amanda Lipitz’s Step, a woman sitting next to me turned and said “wow.” She stated that she felt like she had cried throughout the whole film. I must admit that the sound of her sniffles and her frequent dabbing of the eyes did not go unnoticed, but […]

August 01

Barack Obama and Jim Carrey Highlight TIFF Docs Programme

The Toronto International Film Festival’s® 2017 documentary programme presents a distinct collection of works from award-winning directors with an increased number of World Premieres and potential awards contenders. The TIFF Docs section will open with Sophie Fiennes’ Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami, a film that captures the legendary performer on and off stage. The lineup […]

July 13

Mermaids

The myth of the mermaid has been told by the ancient Greeks, Inuit communities, and most famously in children’s fairy tales. Popular culture has also played a key role in perpetuating the allure be it the romantic charm of Disney’s The Little Mermaid or the dark musical fun of Agnieszka Smoczynska’s The Lure, our love […]

July 07

Tickling Giants

Bassem Youssef has been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” for his popular brand of political satire. In a country where journalists are routinely jailed, or mysteriously go missing, for exercising free speech, the surgeon turned televised comedian is truly one of a kind. As Youssef points out in Sara Taksler’s charming and poignant documentary Tickling […]

June 22

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

It is rather fitting that Errol Morris’ most gentle film to date focuses on a photographer who has no interest in taking unhappy photos. His latest work The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography is a loving tribute to his good friend Elsa Dorfman, a self-proclaimed nice Jewish girl from Massachusetts who found her calling in […]

June 08

CSFF 2017: The Surrounding Game

Despite being played by over 40 million players worldwide, the board game Go has yet to reach the same level of obsession in the West as in the East where it originated. Created in ancient China, and currently the oldest board game to be played in its original form, Go is known for its meditative […]

June 08

CSFF 2017: Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin will always be remembered for Jesse Owens’ four gold medal performance which was viewed as a triumphant defiance to Hitler and his ideology on race. Though he captured much of the media’s attention, Owen was not the only African-American to make waves at the games. In her latest documentary Olympic […]

June 07

CSFF 2017: Crossing The Line

Danny Lee Harris, 1984: an American track and field athlete who ran the 400-meter hurdles and won silver medals at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was the guy who always finished behind Edwin Moses, a track and field phenom, known as the guy who never loses – and he never did; he had […]

June 07

CSFF 2017: Hillsborough

The worst sports disaster in the history of England occurred on April 15th, 1989 in Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield during a semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. During the match, overcrowding in a pen lead to an alarming number of deaths. Daniel Gordon’s documentary Hillsborough recounts the story of this disaster, its causes, and […]

June 06

CSFF 2017: Keepers of the Game

High school funding for sports, and girls’ sports in particular, is on the decline, but fundraising isn’t the only issue for the members of the Salmon River High team. As the first all-Native girls’ lacrosse team in their section, they’ve got something to prove, and not just to their rivals, but to their own community […]

June 03

Murphy’s Law

Life can be summed up as a series of journeys. Each experience takes us down a new road that helps to shape who we are. However, sometimes we can get lost on once familiar paths and loose sight of ourselves in the process. This was the case for Megan Murphy who, after a recent breakup, […]