Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival 2014

Hot Docs 2014: Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story Special Presentations For almost twenty years, Navy SEAL Christopher Beck served his country with an almost suicidal desire to be the best and bravest man in his squadron. When his time in the military was over, however, Chris became Kristin, a transgendered woman who often struggled to keep her […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Last Season Review

The Last Season World Showcase Sara Dosa dives into the world of rare mushroom hunters in the Pacific Northwest, for a disarmingly touching look at friendship and alternative family dynamic in this surprisingly lovely, humorous, and powerful documentary. Every year, migratory workers from all over the country (predominantly of Laotian or Thai descent) converge on […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Great Invisible Review

The Great Invisible Special Presentations There’s the obvious destruction of wildlife and commerce (and human deaths) that came in the wake of the disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill in April of 2010, but Margaret Brown goes poetically and humanely beneath the surface of the slick to show what still survives as […]

Hot Docs 2014: Happy Valley Review

Happy Valley Special Presentations Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, My Kid Could Pain That!) takes a look at two very murky conflicts at play in the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State Football sex abuse scandal: being a supporter vs. being a part of a cult of personality and moral guilt vs. legal guilt. It’s a complex and […]

Hot Docs 2014: Beyond Clueless Review

Beyond Clueless Nightvision UK film critic Charlie Lyne looks at the teen movie craze of the mid-to-late 90s and early aughts and the universal time tested themes within via a poignant and vibrant visual essay film. Although featuring remarkably little of the titular film (although its influence looms large over the proceedings), Lyne looks at […]

Hot Docs 2014: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story Review

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story Canadian Spectrum Finally, a food advocacy stunt documentary where people not only immediately regret their project, but one that actually delivers a clear, coherent, easily agreeable thesis without seeming didactic or menacing. Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer outdo their previous look at waste (The Clean Bin Project) with […]

Hot Docs 2014: Happiness Review

Happiness Special Presentation At times skewing towards the disingenuous and manufactured (especially in its strange regard to manufactured sound and the presentation of a timeline), this still overall winning look at life in rural Bhutan manages plenty of fascinating moments amid French filmmaker Thomas Balmès’s gorgeously picturesque setting. Although television and the internet were finally […]

Hot Docs 2014: Interview – Dennis Mohr

It’s a beautiful, sunny morning outside a downtown Toronto basement office and filmmaker Dennis Mohr is enjoying a patch of early morning sunlight on a couch with books and photographs laid out in front of him full of pictures of sometimes very nasty people from the past and present. It’s a vast collection of research […]

Hot Docs 2014: Interview – Kris Kaczor

Filmmaker Kris Kaczor travelled to Concord, Massachusetts – home of historically rich battleground and famous transcendentalist writers – to document a different kind of revolution and groundswell of environmental activity. Only this time instead of taxation without representation or the protecting of historic woodlands, the contention is over bottles of water and the battle field […]

Hot Docs 2014: Vessel Review

Vessel World Showcase This powerful story of Dutch doctor and women’s rights activist Rebecca Gomperts and her Women on Waves campaign would make for a great documentary just by examining what they do every year, but in the hand of Diana Whitten – who devoted a whopping seven years of her life to making and […]