Hot Docs 2014: I’ve Seen the Unicorn Review

Ive Seen the Unicorn

I’ve Seen the Unicorn

Canadian Spectrum

In Mauritius, an island remnant of the UK colonies, there are three things in life that matter: beaches, fishing, and horse racing.  Young Alvinio dreams of becoming a champion jockey in a country where long after the former regime left power horse racing remained the primary socially unifying point of everyone there.  Alvino, along with other unique characters prepare for the year’s biggest race: The Maiden Cup.

An interesting cultural glimpse at a place where the ethnic, social and economic barriers are seemingly torn through the love of sport, I’ve Seen the Unicorn tries hard, but it just doesn’t have any semblance of structure.  It’s a little too aimless, simply following all of its subjects around without generating any genuine stakes.

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It’s hard to care about the central event in the film when the audience hasn’t been given emotional reason to care about any of it.  Director Vincent Toi gives us too much of a fly on the wall perspective working up towards an event like The Maiden Cup. The subjects are paper thin and simply there because they just happened to be around. Much like a race track betting slip, it mostly doesn’t pay off. (Dave Voigt)

Screens:

Sunday, April 27th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 8:30pm

Monday, April 28th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, 12:30pm

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Friday, May 2nd, ROM, 4:30pm

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