Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Aug 25 - 31)

Letters from Baghdad


By Pat Mullen

Chances to mention the incomparably cool actress Tilda Swinton are rare for a site that covers documentaries, so this week’s release of Letters from Baghdad offers an exciting chance to name drop the Oscar winning star of Michael Clayton and A Bigger Splash. Swinton serves as narrator and executive producer for Letters from Baghdad, a new film that tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of Gertrude Bell, one of the most powerful women in the British Empire in her time. Bell shaped the destiny of Iraq after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. Some deem Bell more influential than her friend and colleague T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), yet why was her story largely written out of the history? Variety calls Letters from Baghdad “a carefully researched documentary that uses an extraordinary wealth of appealing archival footage.”

There aren’t many new releases this week, although the last week of summer sees the return of popular meta-film Manifesto and the expansion of Sundance/Hot Docs winner Rumble to more markets. We’d be remiss, though, not to mention a free screening of Alanis Obomsawin’s Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance at TIFF Lightbox as part of its Canada on Screen series. This incendiary documentary is a Canuck landmark. “The film and the crisis—almost interchangeable now—may well have been the turning point in terms of the white majority’s much more positive reactions to Indigenous claims,” writes Marc Glassman while citing Kanehsatake on POV’s list of Canada’s Documentary Essentials. Anyone want to make the claim that it’s our greatest?

Opening this Week:

Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees
Dir. Jeff McKay | Canada | 85 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Sun, Aug. 27; Tues, Aug. 29

Dawson City: Frozen Time
Dir. Bill Morrison | USA | 120 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Aug. 30

Deconstructing the Beatles’ Revolver
Dir. Scott Freiman | USA | 94 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Sun, Aug. 27 – Mon, Aug. 28

The End of the Road
Dir. Tai Uhlmann, Theo Angell | Canada | 120 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Sun, Aug. 27

Expo 67: Mission Impossible
Dir. Guylaine Maroist, Eric Ruel, Michel Barbeau | Canada | 68 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Aug. 25

The Gardener
Dir. Sébastien Chabot | Canada | 88 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Sun, Aug. 27; Thurs, Aug. 31
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Tues, Aug. 29 – Wed, Aug. 30
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Aug. 25; Wed, Aug. 30

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Dir. Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk | USA | 100 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Fri. Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Halifax, NS: Cineplex Oxford – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Moncton, NB: Cineplex Trinity Drive – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Montreal, QC: Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Nanaimo, BC: Avalon Cinemas – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Oakville, ON: Cineplex Winston Churchill – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Ottawa, ON: Landmark Kanata – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Saskatoon, SK: Roxy Theatre – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Toronto, ON: Cineplex Yonge & Dundas – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sat, Aug. 26 -Tues, Aug. 29; Thurs, Aug. 31
-Vancouver, BC: Cineplex International Village – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Victoria, BC: Capitol 6 – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Vaughan, ON: Cineplex Vaughan – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-White Rock, BC: Rialto – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31

Letters from Baghdad
Dir. Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum | UK/France | 92 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31

Mali Blues
Dir. Lutz Gregor | Germany | 96 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Aug. 25; Mon, Aug. 28

Manifesto
Dir. Julian Rosefeldt | Australia/Germany | 95 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Fri. Aug. 25 – Mon, Aug. 28
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, Aug. 25 – Tues, Aug. 29
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Wed, Aug. 30 – Thurs, Aug. 31

Obit
Dir. Vanessa Gould | USA | 93 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Aug. 25 – Sat, Aug. 26; Tues, Aug. 29

Risk
Dir. Laura Poitras | Germany/USA | 92 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Aug. 25

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World Feature | Review
Dir. Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana | Canada/USA | 102 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Toronto. ON: The Regent – Fri, Aug. 25 – Sun, Aug. 27; Tues, Aug. 29
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Tues, Aug. 29
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Sat, Aug. 26 – Sun, Aug. 27; Thurs, Aug. 31

Step Interview | Review
Dir. Amanda Lipitz | USA | 83 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Toronto, ON: Cineplex Yonge & Dundas – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31
-Vancouver, BC: Cineplex International Village – Fri, Aug. 25 – Thurs, Aug. 31

Retro Screenings:

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Dir. Alanis Obomsawin | Canada | 1993 | 120 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Bell Lightbox – Sun, Aug. 27
—>FREE!

Radiohead: Meeting People Is Easy
Dir. Grant Gee | UK | 1998 | 99 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sat, Aug. 26

Enjoy a week at the movies!
Please note that listings will be on temporary hiatus as we prepare for and cover the Toronto International Film Festival the next few weeks.

Visit First Weekend Club for more info on Canadian films opening around the country!