Saturday, 1 May 2010

Hot Docs 2010 Day 2 - Friday April 30, 2010


Day 2 of Hot Docs and it was my first day hitting the pavement of watching at the festival and started of with the beautiful film The Woman with the 5 Elephants. The festival is already hustling and bustling it's way even on it's second day and the schedule board was already filling out with tons of screenings already gone Rush (all the little R's above). I'm one for preferring to have tickets in hand when heading out so if you are too consider purchase tickets at the online box office if you haven't already. Mystified at what Rush is? It's spelled out over at the Box Office FAQ.

To see & hear all about Day 2 watch my Day 2 Vlog


The Woman with the 5 Elephants
Dir: Vadim Jendreyk

The Woman with the 5 Elephants follows Svetlana Geier, a woman in her 80's who is a translator (or translatress), primarily of Dostoevsky's work into German. Director Vadim Jendreyk was open with the audience afterwards on the reaction he got when sharing that premise with folks, but to be honest it was compelling enough to get me interested to see it and Svetlana cis compelling to say the list. After watching a film that is so focused on language and meaning it's a little intimidating to put words together to describe it, to do it justice, because so rarely do we see the level of care and knowledge being used in anything these days, let alone language. In a LOL world full of tweeting and one spell check if you're lucky, we always trying take the least time and effort possible to get our point across; The Woman with the 5 Elephants is a beautiful reminder of the power and depth of language, and how it's a true skill to know language. A valuable skill. What could be more valuable than being to express something precisely how you intend to? And what a skill it is, to know languages so well and understand them on a deeper level and how language says a lot about the culture of those who use it. Fascinating. One of many highlights of the film is to see the process of the translation which takes time, care and attention and multiple people working on it, all of which are experts and delightful to watch. This film is as much about language as it is about Svetlana Svetlana herself, who easily charms the audience over with her gentle nature, independent spirit and wealth of knowledge on language & life. She shares with use not only her expertise but also her personal history as well. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the film since I've seen it. It was a true joy to see a portrait of such a vibrant, intelligent, articulate older woman. I highly recommend seeing it.

The Woman with the 5 Elephants plays again at Hot Docs on Sunday May 2, 2010 at 1:30pm at the Bader

See selections from The Woman with the 5 Elephants Q&A with Director Vadim Jendreyk and producer Thomas Tielsch here.

The Woman with the 5 Elephants director Vadim Jendreyk, Hot Docs International Programmer Angie Driscoll

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

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I truly enjoyed this film. I was touched by it on many levels and just as you've described, have been thinking about it since seeing it, thinking about language, about translation, about intellect, about age, about precision, about care.

Not only was I moved by the content but also by the fact that this documentary was made at all, this film about an older woman that celebrates her intellect and her spirit.

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