HotDocs 2010 Day Four: Fans, Foes and a Fence

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The skies were blue, the clouds were fluffy and white, and the winds were fairly strong as I headed out for a pair of screenings this afternoon. Given that my first film was all about George Lucas, I wondered – yes, in an admittedly narrow-minded way – whether the theater would be filled with “enthusiasts.”

It wasn’t. At least, not as far as anyone dressing up in costume or anything.

The People vs. George Lucas (6/8) is sort of hard to pin down in a single sentence, but it examines the love/hate relationship many of Lucas’ fans have with his work, and with Lucas himself. The first half of the doc looks at the historic and cultural impact of Star Wars, as seen through the eyes of dozens and dozens of ardent Lucas fans, while the latter half (featuring many of these same people) explores how the bloom has gradually faded right off that rose. Punctuated with endless clips from fan-made films – everything from stop-motion animation to battle-sequence recreations starring eggs (seriously) – the documentary’s only misstep (in my opinion) are two somewhat out-of-place interludes involving the Indiana Jones franchise. They kind of stick out in an odd way, and detract from the otherwise jam-packed-with-opinions-from-all-manner-of-experts film.

In between my two films, I quickly grabbed dinner. I decided to visit Crêpes à GoGo, a tiny little crêperie on Yorkville Ave. that had been recommended to me by a couple of people. Omigoditwassodelicious.

I had a Tartinade with fresh bananas and it was perfect. Plus, it came neatly tucked into a brown paper wrapper, which meant I could very easily eat it en route as I hurried back to the ROM.

With stomach satiated, and sort of ready for a nap by that point, I settled in for Budrus (6/8), an award-winning film chronicling the residents of the titular Palestinian town as they, led by one man, engage in peaceful, non-violent protest against Isreal’s construction of a security fence/wall/barrier that would wrap around their village and destroy the local olive groves. Heartfelt and sometimes difficult to watch – seeing women, or anyone for that matter, being beaten by baton-wielding soldiers for just standing there isn’t exactly pleasant viewing – the film shines a light on a small group of people who, through their efforts, make a big difference. It also offers hope that, even in such a long-running conflict, new approaches to peace and new bridges to cooperation are possible.


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