Thursday, 29 April 2010

NFB Selections at Hot Docs

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The NFB is a true stamp of quality when it comes to Canadian documentary film, a place where we are already had a long history of documentary film. I always look forward to their offerings at festivals and this year with Hot Docs I am once again was extremely satisfied with the the quality, creativity and important stories that resonate in the films they bring to screens. Here are some highlights.

The "Socalled" Movie
Dir: Garry Beitel
Canada

Hearing people talk about The "Socalled" Movie with a joyful enthusiasm let me know that it was one I couldn't miss at the festival. A portrait on the artist (including musician, magician and filmmaker) Socalled, we are privy to performances, jam sessions and interviews where we see things you'd never imagine being put together blend seamlessly together. One of the most prominent pairings is hip hop and klezmer music, which I admit gave me a giggle to think of them together but when you hear it, it's so beautiful you wonder why they ever were apart. The film is filled with personal history, projects, interviews with or about Socalled, where we get to see many different aspects of his creative life and how he has a beautiful curiosity to pull what would normally feel oddly juxtaposed to feel like old friends together again. In part it has a why not? perspective that is truly and inspiring. Why not put klezmer and funk together? Do it & see what happens, because it could be a beautiful thing. What we see over and over again is that it truly is a beautiful thing.

Flawed
Dir: Andrea Dorfman
Canada, 12 minutes

A true gem of a film, exploring one womans journey through her relationship not only with other people but also herself and her own body. The journey is also told visually as we watch stories come to life through ink and paint. Honest and revealing Flawed is absolutely priceless and it's beauty brought me to tears of joy through it's openness and bravery.

See a clip of Flawed here.

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Above: Flawed

Namrata
Dir: Shazia Javad
Canada, 9 minutes

A brave and telling journey portrait of a woman who life brings her from India to Edmonton through an arranged marriage to unexpected results. Passionate and personal, it's an inspiring story dealing with both conflict of courage.

Life with Murder
Dir: John Kastner
Canada

Life with Murder follows a very tragic family history. Starting with a very normal family of four, 2 parents and 2 kids, living pretty normal lives until a crime if committed that changes the family unit in a way that is hard to imagine. The suprizing thing about the scenario is it highlights how much can be left unsaid and what this can do to family dynamics. Understaned and respectfully handled, we see how the family actively chooses to deal with a horrifying event. Although the question hovers on if it's patience or denial, it's shows a truly unique perspective on dealing with different kinds of loss. The film comes together as life often does, as the puzzle pieces of life are brought together without starting with the full picture.

Warnings: Life with Murder does include real crime scene photos and footage

Check them out at the festival:

The "Socalled" Movie plays at Hot Docs on:
Sunday May 2, 2010 at 9:15pm at the Bloor and Tuesday May 4, 2010 at 11:30am at ROM

Flawed plays with Small Wonders on:
Friday April 30, 2010 at 9:30pm at Cumberland 2 and Sunday May 2, 2010 at 5pm at Innis

Namrata plays with In the Name of the Family on:
Saturday May 1, 2010 at 7pm at the Royal and Sunday May 9, 2010 at 6:45pm at the Bader

Life with Murder plays at Hot Docs on:
Saturday May 1 at 9:45pm at the Bader and Sunday May 9, 2010 at 3:45 at the Bloor

For more information check the festival schedule or purchase tickets at the online box office.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs from April 29 - May 9, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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