Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hot Docs 2010 Day 6 - Tuesday May 4, 2010

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Day 6 is the hinge day of the festival with 5 days on either side of it. Oddly, I thought it was still Day 5 and kept on writing and saying that through the day. That tells you that you are a sizable part into the festival when things begin to blur, and they have. But not the films. The films stay crisp and clear even though I spent most of the day at the Cumberland (pictured above) I felt as if I had travel the world from New Zealand, to Germany and the States to Russia throughout the day. Today was also the first day so far where there were screenings without directors, although there have always been special guests there. The attendance not only of the audience but also the guests has been amazing considering this year. It's one heck of a bustling and busy festival!

Also be sure to check out my Day 6 Vlog

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This Way of Life
Dir: Thomas Burstyn
New Zealand

Absolutely stunning family portrait of The Karenas in New Zealand a family whom choose to raise their children off the land, sometimes living in less than traditional housing but often amongst horses. Sadly, they face numerous challenges and oddly this is primarily not with how they are living or the environment but from people that head-on challenge them or more covertly stir up trouble. It's an amazing portrayal of persistence and resistance for them the keep things together and live their lives. My heart really went out to the family as they certainly never did anything to deserve any of this active negativity and in face they were always shown as a beautiful, caring family unit. My heart goes out to them. What really got me here is that even though the challenges you can feel the love in the family, in how well they know each other and how much they trust each other. The kids are so cute as they run around and also help out with daily life. Inspirational, loving and gently stubborn, it was a joy to watch the film and spend time with The Karena family which makes This Way of Life is easily one of my favourite films of the festival so far.

The screening was completely sold out (down to every seat in the front row taken!) and the audience loved it.

See introduction from the screening of This Way of Life here

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Tankograd director Boris Bertram

Tankograd
Dir: Boris Bertram
Denmark

Set in Chelyabinsk, Russia there are two very prominent concerns on everyday life: one is being the most radioactive city and the second is dance. The film shows the very real effects and awareness of the nuclear pollution and how every present it is in peoples lives and minds so it's wild to see that in the same location there is a wondrous world of dance as well. The dancers were truly amazing and I would have loved to see more of the dance, which was beautiful and organic modern work centred on a piece on celestial bodies. Fascinating choice given the setting. The audience responded very well to the film not only for the dance but for being awareness to the nuclear issues as well.

See selections from the Tankograd Q&A with director Boris Bertram here

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David Wants to Fly
Dir: David Sieveking
Germany/Austria/Switzerland

David wants to fly was a bit of a wild card choice for me, but reading 'David Lynch' and 'Transcendental Meditation' got me curious enough to know that I couldn't miss it. The film follows director David Sieveking in his quest to meet David Lynch which sparks off the separate journey to delve into the world of Transcendental Meditation to unusual results. The surprizing thing for me was how funny the film way. David Sieveking is refreshingly combination of open and investigative on the Transcendental Meditation front, and as he's looking further and further into this we are also let into his private life. He has a great sense of humour and timing, bringing a great lightness to what could be a pretty heavy topic. The perspective is always from a curious and open standpoint, and what he uncovers is fascinating. The audience got a real kick out of the film, which showcases it's own unique enlightenment on the subject.

See selections from the David Wants to Fly Intro and Q&A with producer Carl-Ludwig Rettinger here

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Hot Docs Programmer Alex Rogalski and David Wants to Fly screening producer Carl-Ludwig Rettinger

To see more about the festival screenings check out the festival schedule online at the Hot Docs website 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

1 comment:

simoncolumb said...

The first one mentioned reminds me of the people hopper and fonda meet in easy rider - the hippies who live off the land.

Sounds very interesting and, as some might say, documentaries are all about the people in them more than the topic explored.

Simon
www.screeninsight.com

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