Hot Docs 2014: Mad as Hell Review

Mad as Hell

Mad As Hell

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Mad As Hell profiles a charismatic media personality that doubles as a portrait of the current friction between traditional broadcast media and online video services, painted with the familiar colours of the American political landscape.

Cenk Uyger, otherwise known as The Young Turk, dodges a career in law to start a right wing public access show. Through a constant series of cancellations, reimaginings and partisan U-turns he beats the odds and ends up making a real difference, moving from public access, to broadcast and then to internet and television as The Young Turks becomes one of the most widely watched news shows.

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It works best as an advertisement for the still running daily politics webcast. The film doesn’t succeed is in presenting a sense of stylistic consistency or in manufacturing any sort of emotional or dramatic stakes. The story is arrhythmic, with out-of-place title cards introducing subjects and there’s never any sort of feeling threat to Cenk’s organization that feels credible.

It’s about 20 minutes too long; a bland film about a charismatic contrarian. (Peter Counter)

Screens

Tuesday, April 29th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 7:30pm

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Wednesday, April 30th, Hart House Theatre, 3:15pm

Friday, May 2nd, Scotiabank 3, 4:00pm

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