Hot Docs 2014: To Be Takei Review

To Be Takei - Hot Docs 2014

To Be Takei

Special Presentations

While director Jennifer Kroot and co-director/editor Bill Webber do a fine job of showcasing what makes actor, writer, and human rights activist George Takei such a fascinating and important historical figure when it comes to Asian and gay actors, the movie they made around him is a maddeningly disjointed mess.

Kroot follows Takei and his husband/manager Brad Altman around through their domestic and professional lives while talking about Georgeโ€™s childhood spent in U.S. internment camps for Japanese citizens during World War II (the subject of his latest musical, also a large part of the film), his struggles with staying in the closet, his resurgence to become a modern day internet and TV celebrity, and, of course, a little bit here and there about Star Trek.


The elements of a good biopic are all here, and George and Brad are fascinating subjects (especially Brad, who balances his love of George with a hard, business-like edge), but the film is all over the map. Rather than establishing any sort of framing device or even a coherent timeline, Kroot and Webber just slap together anecdotes and important life moments at random. Theyโ€™ll start telling a story, stop to tell another, and go back to the one they were telling 20 minutes ago. Itโ€™s frustrating, making the film really hard to get invested in. For die hard Takei fans only.

Remaining screenings

Sunday, April 27th, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 1:00pm (RUSH ONLY)