Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Dec. 1-7)

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story


By Pat Mullen

It’s mostly a timefor catching up on the documentary front this week, as we plan to do with the much raved about Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which exploded last week at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema and gets held over for a few more shows. Other goodies worth revisiting or checking off the ‘to do’ list before the Oscar shortlist comes out include Faces Places, Human Flow and Jane.

The Canadian front this week includes a holiday special from the ever-prolific Larry Weinstein. The director’s latest is Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, an irreverent and funny hybrid doc-musical about the unsung history of Jewish songwriters behind some of the most beloved Christmas carols of all time. This energetic film shows how music offers a gateway for inclusion as the talking heads and chorus members sing about the desire for assimilation embedded within Yuletide ditties like “The Christmas Song” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It’s a fun spin on the annual holiday special. The film screens at HDTRC on Sunday and airs on CBC docs that evening. Read the POV review of Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas here.

Vancouver audiences can catch an important story about the history of the territory the city occupies in c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city. Director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, in collaboration with the Musqueam First Nation and the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s curatorial team, looks at the land and the people who’ve lived there for over 5000 years. The doc explores the settlement sites of the Musqueam First Nations people and the generations that followed. As Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations come to a close, it’s worth remembering the history that spans beyond a mere 150 years.

On the festival front, cinephiles in the National Capital can catch Mirror Mountain Film Festival Dec. 1-3. The doc crop at Ottawa’s indie and alternative festival includes the feature selection The Reindeer Keepers and the shorts film programme True Stories that houses a strong mix of films from fresh voices. Highlights include the film buff treasure hunt The Collection and the powerful Smoke That Travels by 18-year-old wunderkind Kayla Briët, one of several notable Indigenous films in the line-up.

Opening this Week:

78/52
Dir. Alexandre O. Philippe | USA | 91 min.
-Regina, SK: Regina Public Library – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sun, Dec. 3

A Better Man
Dir. Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman | Canada | 85 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Mon, Dec. 4
—>Filmmaker in attendance!

Big Time
Dir. Kaspar Astrup Schröder | Denmark | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Dec. 1 – Mon, Dec. 4; Wed, Dec. 6 – Thurs, Dec. 7

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Dir. Alexandra Dean | USA | 90 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo: Princess Cinemas – Wed, Dec. 5 – Thurs, Dec. 6
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Mon, Dec. 4 – Tues, Dec. 5
-Toronto. ON: Mt. Pleasant Cinema – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sun, Dec. 3; Tues, Dec. 5 – Wed, Dec. 6

c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city
Dir. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers | Canada | 75 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sun, Dec. 3

Do Donkeys Act?
Dir. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin | UK | 72 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo: Princess Cinemas – Tues, Dec. 5

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
Dir. Larry Weinstein | Canada | 55 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sun, Dec. 3
—>Director Larry Weinstein, producer Liam Romalis, writer/producer Jason Charters, performer David Wall, performer Dione Taylor, performer Aviva Chernick, and interviewee/expert Robert Harris will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion.

Expo 67: Mission Impossible
Dir. Michel Barbeau, Guylaine Maroist | Canada | 68 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sat, Dec. 2

Faces Places
Dir. Agnès Varda, JR | France | 90 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, Dec. 1 – Wed, Dec. 6
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema -Fri, Dec. 1 – Mon, Dec. 4
-Toronto, ON: The Regent – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sat, Dec. 2; Tues, Dec. 5 – Wed, Dec. 6

Human Flow
Dir. Ai Weiwei | Germany/USA | 140 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sat, Dec. 2
-Kitchener, ON: Apollo Cinema – Sat, Dec. 2 – Mon, Dec. 5
-Kitchener-Waterloo: Princess Cinemas – Sun. Dec. 3
-Iqaluit, NU: Astro Cinema – Sun, Dec. 3
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, Dec. 1 – Tues, Dec. 5
-Toronto, ON: Fox Theatre – Sun, Dec. 3; Tues, Dec. 5 – Wed, Dec. 6
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Fri, Dec. 1 – Thurs, Dec. 7

Jane Interview | Review
Dir. Brett Morgen | USA | 90 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Dec. 1; Sat, Dec. 2; Mon, Dec. 4; Wed, Dec. 6; Thurs, Dec. 7
-Kitchener-Waterloo: Princess Cinemas – Fri, Dec. 1 – Thurs, Dec. 7
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Dec. 1 – Tues, Dec. 5; Thurs, Dec. 7
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Sat, Dec. 2

Mirror Mountain Film Festival
-Ottawa, ON: Arts Court – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sun, Dec. 3
—> POV is proud to co-present the short docs selection True Stories on Dec. 3. (Pick up a copy of our current issue while you’re there!)

No Stone Unturned
Dir. Alex Gibney | USA/UK } 111 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Dec. 6 – Thurs, Dec. 7
—> Producer Trevor Birney will be in attendance on December 6 (6:30 pm and 9:15 pm). Director Alex Gibney will participate in Skype Q&A on December 7 (6:45 pm).

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Dir. Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana | Canada/USA | 103 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Mon, Dec. 5

The Stairs
Dir. Hugh Gibson | Canada | 95 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Dec. 1 – Sat, Dec. 2
—>Filmmaker in attendance!

Retro Screenings:

In God We Trust
Dir. Derek Anderson, Victor Kubicek | USA | 2013 | 82 min
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Tues, Dec. 5

The Last Waltz
Dir. Martin Scorsese | USA | 1978 | 117 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Thurs, Dec. 7

Enjoy a week at the movies!