Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Jan. 20-26)

The Skyjacker’s Tale


By Pat Mullen

Avert your eyes from the television this week! On the ominous day of President Trump’s inauguration, even documentary fans could use an escape from reality. Luckily, though, the documentary forecast offers just the ticket for filmgoers to see the marvel with which non-fiction films reflect the crazy world.

This week’s documentary openers take off with Jamie Kastner’s riveting flight The Skyjacker’s Tale. This doc chronicles the story of Ishmael Muslim Ali, a wanted man who was convicted for his role in the notorious Fountain Valley Massacre in which eight people were slain. The story that comes after is more wild, though, as Kastner recounts Ali’s prison break, airplane hijacking, and escape into hiding. Full of twists and turns, The Skyjacker’s Tale is a wild slice of documentary pulp fiction. So wild, in fact, that one might almost think the story too unbelievable to be true. Read more about The Skyjacker’s Tale in the POV feature ‘The Docmaker’s Tale’.

Fans of La La Land, on the other hand, will rejoice over the bittersweet theatre folly of Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened. Theatre director Lonny Price goes behind the camera for this personal exploration of those who make it to the spotlight and those who find themselves twenty feet (or more) from stardom. The doc reunites members of the cast and crew from the Broadway cult hit Merrily We Roll Along to reflect upon the musical’s short-lived failure and how the brief fifteen minutes of fame shaped the futures of a chorus of actors. It’s another day of sun at a time we need it. Read the POV review of Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened here.

Additionally, film fans may take in the Canada’s Top Ten screenings happening around the country. Highlights include Angry Inuk, Maliglutit, and Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves.

Docs Opening this Week:

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
Dir. Lonny Price | USA | 96 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Jan. 20; Tues, Jan. 24
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 20 – Thurs, Jan. 26
—>Director Lonny Price will participate in a Skype Q&A following the 4:00 p.m. screening on January 22.

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
Dir. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato | USA | 108 min.
-Toronto, ON: AGO – Fri, Jan. 20 – Sat, Jan. 21; Wed, Jan. 25 – Thurs, Jan. 26

The Skyjacker’s Tale
Dir. Jamie Kastner | Canada | 75 min.
Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Jan. 20 – Fri, Jan. 27
—>Director Jamie Kastner will participate in post-screening Q&As on January 20 at 8:45 p.m. and January 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Theater of Life
Dir. Peter Svatek | Canada | 94 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, Jan. 20 – Thurs, Jan. 26

Things Arab Men Say
Dir. Nisreen Baker | Canada | 52 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sat, Jan. 21
—>Filmmaker in attendance

To the Ends of the Earth
Dir. David Lavallee | Canada | 90 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Tues, Jan. 24
—> Q&A with the film’s director David Lavallee, and moderated by the CCPA’s Shannon Daub (CCPA-BC associate director and Corporate Mapping Project co-director).

Retro Screenings:

Gimme Shelter
Dir. Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin | USA | 1970 | 91 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Bell Lightbox – Thurs, Jan. 26
—>Screens in 35mm!

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Dir. D.A. Pennebaker | USA | 1973 | 90 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Mon, Jan. 23

Enjoy a week at the movies!

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