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Hot Docs 2021 #19: System Analysts

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #19: System Analysts

Whether it’s exposing a scandal, understanding a political ideology, or battling a financial crisis, these three films revolve around individuals upending long-standing systems of sport, government and the big banks.   Nike’s Big Bet (6/8) Director Paul Kemp’s exposé of the 2019 doping scandal involving renowned Nike-backed marathon runner-turned-coach Alberto..

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Limbo (2020)

At HomeComedyDrama

Limbo (2020)

Director: Ben Sharrock

Actors: Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Ola Orebiyi, Kwabena Ansah, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Kenneth Collard

I’m sure it’s unintentional that the limbo the characters in this film face ironically mirrors that limbo that we all feel having been stuck at home for over a year due to the pandemic. It is certainly unfair to compare a refugee’s stuck between two worlds existence to someone sitting..

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Hot Docs 2021 #18: Well, They Can’t All Be Winners — Part Deux

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #18: Well, They Can’t All Be Winners — Part Deux

Sometimes, when you’re seeing a slew of films in a day, you wind up with the occasional dud. And then, as I discovered today, sometimes you inadvertently wind up seeing two duds back to back. Which is why, by the time I got a third of the way into the..

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Hot Docs 2021 #17: “Immortality” and Immigration

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #17: “Immortality” and Immigration

Whether it’s making meaningful connections, adapting to new situations or leaving a legacy for those to come, these three films explore different facets of the human experience, with varying success. A.rtificial I.mmortality (7/8) Last night, one of my editors emailed me a marketing document that had been written entirely by..

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Hot Docs 2021 #16: Card-game Controversy

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #16: Card-game Controversy

I have no clue how to play bridge, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of Dirty Tricks (6/8), a delicious card-table thriller about Lotan Fisher, the one-time bridge-playing child prodigy and world champion, whose golden-boy status was forever tarnished when he was accused of cheating. And, right from the..

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Hot Docs 2021 #15: A Trio of Rock Docs

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #15: A Trio of Rock Docs

There’s no shortage of great music-themed films screening at Hot Docs this year, so I checked out three more!   Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm (6/8) You KNOW I love a great music doc, and this spirited film from director Hannah Berryman, filled with fantastic behind-the-scenes archival footage from..

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Hot Docs 2021 #14: Tourism Trials

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #14: Tourism Trials

Every year at Hot Docs, there are films that share similar themes, and in the past I’d sometimes wind up seeing them in the same day completely by chance. This year, the fest streaming titles for viewing at home, available whenever you want to watch, means I can choose to..

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Hot Docs 2021 #13: Chasin’ the Dream!

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #13: Chasin’ the Dream!

If Loretta Lynn and Janis Joplin had a baby, it might just be the immensely talented and wildly complicated subject of I’m Wanita (7/8). The self-professed Australian Queen of Honky Tonk, Wanita is a cigarette-smoking, binge-drinking, foul-mouthed, unapologetically outrageous and GIANT-hearted country singer with an amazing voice… and an amazingly..

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Hot Docs 2021 #12: Raw & Real

Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #12: Raw & Real

Let me begin by saying: I watched Any Given Day (6/8) with a giant knot in my stomach and a pounding heart. Some 15 years ago, I lived in a small apartment complex where the (money-hungry) landlord decided to offer up units for rent – at a ridiculous premium –..

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About Endlessness (Om det oändliga)

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About Endlessness (Om det oändliga)

Director: Roy Andersson

Actors: Bengt Bergius, Anja Broms, Marie Burman

Clocking in at a mere 76 minutes of runtime, About Endlessness sometimes seems, well, endless. The film starts with a gorgeous, slowly evolving shot of an embracing couple flying over a gray, war-torn (presumably) European city. A female narrator states, “I saw a couple–two people in love–hover over a city..

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