Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival 2014

Hot Docs 2014: Giuseppe Makes a Movie Review

Giuseppe Makes a Movie Nightvision Regardless of what one might think of actor and filmmaker Giuseppe Andrews’ low-fi experimental comedic oddities or his prowess as a serious artist, there’s no denying that the art he’s making is incredibly honest and deeply humane and empathetic. Director Adam Rifkin (who met Giuseppe while making Detroit Rock City) […]

Hot Docs 2014: An Honest Liar Review

An Honest Liar World Showcase James “The Amazing” Randi is an 85-year-old magician who has been at the forefront of a movement to debunk frauds and phonies for decades. After dedicating his life to the magical arts from a very early age, Randi became a sensation mainly due to his impeccable skills as an escape […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Engineer Review

The Engineer International Spectrum Israel Ticas, the only criminologist in the country of El Salvador, is charged with excavating abandoned wells that are used as mass graves by the two biggest gangs in the country. Despite a supposed truce, people keep disappearing and he keeps finding bodies.  He’s a lonely man trying to be the […]

Hot Docs 2014: Focus on Infinity Review

Focus on Infinity World Showcase Focus on Infinity asks a lot of its audience. It’s a documentary about the science of space composed exclusively of earthly footage and it offers nothing in terms of scientific discovery or revelation. Between the biblical musings of a former physicist and declarations of craving the unknowable are symbols and […]

Hot Docs 2014: A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution Review

A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution Canadian Spectrum In the entire time the Pulitzer Prize for journalism has existed, there’s only been one anonymous winner: Jahangir Razmi who only identified himself over 30 years after shooting an execution via death squad in Iran.  As an artistic experiment, director Bahman Tavoosi and Ramzi set out to […]

Hot Docs 2014: Doc of the Dead Review

Doc of the Dead Nightvision Let’s face it, the walking (un)dead are everywhere these days, from Brad Pitt blockbusters and cuddly slippers to porn parodies and shooting ranges. The smelly masses of corpses have never been more popular, so a documentary like Doc of the Dead was inevitable. This is the definitive documentary guide to […]

Hot Docs 2014: Divide in Concord Review

Divide in Concord World Showcase The hot button push to move away from the use of bottled water and towards more environmentally sustainable drinking options moves to one of America’s most historic towns in Kris Kaczor’s well meaning, but scattershot examination of a different kind of revolution. Spurred on by something her grandson told her […]

Hot Docs 2014: David & Me Review

David & Me Canadian Spectrum An admirably well intentioned but highly scattershot human rights doc, it feels bad ragging on this story of a friendship between a man in Toronto and a wrongfully convicted Brooklyn inmate, but there’s just too little focus to sustain even 70 minutes. Ray Klonsky is a reformed fake thug kid […]

Hot Docs 2014: A Different Kind of Boy Review

A Different Kind of Boy Made in Denmark The Danish documentary A Different Kind of Boy isn’t even an hour long, and yet it manages to exude charm, elicits genuine anxiety, and presents a complete, complex picture of a boy with autism and his brother’s attempt to bond with him. Essentially divided into two parts, […]

Hot Docs 2014: Demonstration Review

Demonstration Special Presentations A well meaning, but utterly failed experiment to create a “doc ballet,” Demonstration has been culled together from the footage of 32 student filmographers in the Master of Creative Documentary Program at Pompeu Fabra University under the guidance of Russian documentarian Victor Kossakovsky. On March 29th, 2012, thousands of protestors in Barcelona […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Darkside Review

The Darkside Mystery, Myth, and Legend If nothing else, Warwick Thornton’s documentary The Darkside is certainly an original concept. Over many months Thornton collected a series of ghost stories from a variety of sources across Australia then shot first person retellings of the best ones along with re-enactments from local actors. The 13 stories depicted […]

Hot Docs 2014: Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart Review

Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart Special Presentations Pamela Smart’s sensationalistic 1991 trial involving a high school employee who not only slept with a student, but talked that student into murdering her husband was an instant pop culture phenomenon. It was the first trial ever broadcast live on television and was eventually turned into a […]

Hot Docs 2014: Bintou Review

Bintou World Showcase Hard at work in her sewing room in Burkina Faso and worlds away from the high fashion runways of Europe, Bintou runs a successful dressmaking business.  She works night and day whipping up outfits for white ex-pats who never haggle at her prices as she travels door to door on her bicycle. […]

Hot Docs 2014: Art and Craft Review

Art and Craft Nightvision A wildly different and highly amusing kind of cat and mouse film, Art and Craft follows the overlapping timelines of a not so dangerous, but assuredly deceitful art forger and one overly obsessive investigator and former registrar that’s determined to take him down. Quiet, unassuming, and mentally challenged Mark Landis from […]

Hot Docs 2014: Before the Last Curtain Falls Review

Before the Last Curtain Falls Canadian Spectrum When the Belgian stage production Gardenia opened in 2010 it was a massive success: playing over 200 shows in 25 countries. The show is as much a performance art piece as it is cabaret, starring older gay and trans performers. The film follows the cast through their final […]