Hot Docs 2015: Tig Review

Show Me The Funny

Good evening, I have cancer,” stand up comedian Tig Notaro famously announced in front of a stunned audience in 2012. This was no joke, but she worked this uncomfortable truth into a revelatory set that went viral and took Tig’s career to the next level. At the time, she was beat but not beaten. The bilateral breast cancer diagnoses came after shortly losing her mother and overcoming another serious illness. It was after these events that documentary filmmakers Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York began filming Tig, fortunately for them the next 12 months of Tig’s life would be just as eventful. 

This is an excellent documentary that illustrates how life doesn’t care what your plans are, and will throw everything at you all at once without thinking twice. The year following Tig’s newfound fame wasn’t as tragic as the one that led up to it, but it wasn’t all wine and roses either. We go on this emotional roller coaster ride with her and watch her make the best of it, even though it clearly isn’t always easy.

Among other things, we discover Tig learning to perfectly balance her act on that thin line between comedy and tragedy. Her deadpan humour catches people off guard but is a perfect counterbalance to the issues she’s dealing with in the film. It seems like the filmmakers were basically given unrestricted access to Tig’s life and because everything that’s being documented is so personal, we really do feel like we know her afterwards.

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Tig ends up being about a lot more than just cancer and comedy, that’s just the beginning. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that sometimes there’s truth to the saying ‘it’s always darkest before dawn’… and not just in a literal sense.

Screens: 

Thu, Apr 23 9:45 PM @ The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Sun, May 3 7:00 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Also screening FriApr 24 6:00 PM @ Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as part of Scotiabank’s Big Ideas Series

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