Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Jan. 18-24)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Copyright IDIOM Film, Courtesy RaMell Ross & Cinema Guild

Toronto audiences can finally catch one of the most acclaimed films from last year’s festival circuit as RaMell Ross’s Hale County This Morning, This Evening opens theatrically this weekend at TIFF Lightbox. The film is a poetic and visually striking portrait of everyday life for Black Americans. “Through a series of carefully composed images, Ross’ film ruminates upon life in this southern African-American community, concentrating on specifics such as hands against skin, the unbridled enthusiasm of a child running around in circles, or the beautiful repetition of a basketball practice,” wrote Jason Gorber, reflecting on the film at Sundance. “There is an intimacy and immediacy to the work that serves not just cold ethnographic purposes but rather feels like the amplification of narratives that for generations were simply ignored during the telling of the mainly white American story. An epic at 76 minutes, this poetic film finds itself in that pocket where by focussing so tightly on the details the bigger, more universal elements emerge.” Read the POV review of Hale County This Morning, This Evening here.

Another Sundance kid making an overdue debut in Toronto this week is Amy Scott’s Hal, a wonderful appreciation of the late and great filmmaker Hal Ashby. The doc tours through the many influential films that Ashby directed in the 1970s including Harold and Maude, Being There, and Coming Home as she and interviews reflect upon an incredible talent who, for no clear reason, doesn’t receive the same esteem that many of the other filmmakers from the era do. It’s a engaging crash course in film authorship, especially when Scott digs into the meaty bits surrounding Ashby’s perfectionism and chronic head-butting with studio bigwigs while refusing to compromise his artistic vision. Read the POV review of Hal here.

Less extraordinary as a work of ‘film on film’ is the archival romp Around India with a Movie Camera. It’s disappointing to report that the doc is tedious and dull since it draws upon an impressive range of footage chronicling the history of India in the years between the advent of cinema and the nation’s independence in 1947. There’s no rhythm or arc to the archival snippets, though, and what emerges is an unnavigable, and uninteresting, tapestry. Read the POV review of Around India with a Movie Camera here.

Docs opening this week:

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Dir. J. Baichwal, E. Burtynsky, N. de Pencier | Canada | 87 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Sat, Jan. 19 – Sun, Jan. 20
-Toronto, ON: The Fox – Wed, Jan. 23
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sat, Jan. 19

Around India with a Movie Camera
Dir. Sandhya Suri | UK | 72 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18; Mon, Jan. 21 – Thurs, Jan. 24

Free Solo
Dir. Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi | USA | 100 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Tues, Jan. 22
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Twin – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Ottawa, ON: Imagine St. Laurent – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Toronto, ON: Carlton Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18
-Toronto, ON: Ontario Place Cinesphere – Sat, Jan. 19 – Sun, Jan. 20
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Fri, Jan. 18; Mon, Jan. 21

The Great Buster: A Celebration
Dir. Peter Bogdanovich | USA | 102 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sat, Jan. 19; Mon, Jan. 21
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Musée – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Toronto, ON: Mt. Pleasant Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sat, Jan. 19
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Sat, Jan. 19 – Sun, Jan. 20; Wed, Jan. 23

Hal
Dir. Amy Scott | USA | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18; Sun, Jan. 20; Mon, Jan. 21; Wed, Jan. 23 – Thurs, Jan. 24

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Dir. RaMell Ross | USA | 72 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Sat, Jan. 19 – Sun, Jan. 20; Tues, Jan. 22 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Mon, Jan. 21 – Wed, Jan. 23

Impetus
Dir. Jennifer Alleyn | Canada | 94 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Musée – Fri, Jan. 18 – Thurs, Jan. 24

Inventing Tomorrow
Dir. Laura Nix | USA | 87 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sat, Jan. 19; Mon, Jan. 21 – Thurs, Jan. 24

Laila at the Bridge
Dir. Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaeie | Canada/Afghanistan | 96 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Jan. 23

Maria By Callas
Dir. Tom Volf | France | 113 min.
-Toronto, ON: Mt. Pleasant Cinema – Sat, Jan. 19 – Sun, Jan. 20; Tues, Jan. 22 – Wed, Jan. 23

Nothing Like a Dame
Dir. Roger Michell | UK | 83 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Tues, Jan. 22 – Wed, Jan. 23
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Tues, Jan. 22 – Wed, Jan. 23

Of Great Service: The Story of National Research Universal
Dir. Sarah Fodey | Canada | 60 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Wed, Jan. 23

Science Fair
Dir. Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster | USA | 90 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sat, Jan. 19; Mon, Jan. 21 – Tues, Jan. 22

This Mountain Life
Dir. Grant Baldwin | Canada | 76 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18; Tues, Jan. 22 – Thurs, Jan. 24

Three Identical Strangers
Dir. Tim Wardle | USA/UK | 96 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Sun, Jan. 20

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes
Dir. Alison Reid | Canada | 83 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18; Sun, Jan. 20; Thurs, Jan. 24
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sun, Jan. 20
—>Anne Innis Dagg in attendance at select screenings!
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Mon, Jan. 21

Yellow is Forbidden
Dir. Pietra Brettkelly | New Zealand | 97 min.
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Fri, Jan. 18 – Sun, Jan. 20

Enjoy a week at the movies!

Please verify showtimes with theatres as screenings and engagements are subject to change.
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