Hot Docs 2014: Absences Review

Absences

Absences

World Showcase

The latest from award winning Canadian filmmaker Carole Laganière concerns the holes left by the various departures of others in our lives. Framed by Laganière’s own experience dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and having to watch a loved one slip away before her eyes, she extends the definition of absence a bit broader.

One man searches for the Quebec family his father kept hidden from him. A woman returns to Dubrovnik to find out why her mother abandoned her for a soldier in 1996. Another woman heads to Toronto to search for her missing sister in shelters, bars, and strip clubs.

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Gorgeously shot, but still in need of a wee bit of trimming, Laganière still does a great job of examining the psychology of those left behind in the wake of a sudden or unwarranted departure from someone close to them. Not everyone will find answers in their searches, but it’s those searches that keep them going. An exploration of these themes might work better in longer form (possibly a series), but it still does right by its subjects by not being maudlin or manipulative. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Friday, April 25th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4, 6:00pm

Saturday, April 26th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, 1:00pm

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Saturday, May 3rd, Scotiabank 7, 9:00pm

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