Docs Opening in Canada this Week (June 2 - 8)

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail


By Pat Mullen

It’s a strong week for doc fans. Anyone looking to avoid the Wonder Woman line-ups at the multiplex this weekend finds a worthy tale of heroes and villains in Steve James’s riveting new doc Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. The Hoop Dreams director tells the story the Sung family and their bank Abacus Federal Savings, an independent Chinatown business that was the only financial institution charged for mortgage fraud following the 2008 financial crisis. The doc lets the Sungs give their side of the story and they bring both heart and fire to Abacus as they work to clear their name and the reputation of their community. It’s a compelling indictment on the promises of an American Dream that fracture under the weight of a broken system. Read the POV review of Abacus here.

Film buffs may enjoy a playlist of cinematic wonders with Score: A Film Music Documentary. This engaging study of film on film talks with oodles of Hollywood composers to illustrate the art of creating a movie score. Cues from many of Hollywood’s great soundtracks, like the menacing chords of Jaws or the hypnotic motif of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, show the layers of awe and wonder that music adds to motion pictures. It’s best enjoyed in a theatre with buttery popcorn and fellow film buffs eager to debate the best scores of all time. Read the POV review of Score: A Film Musical here.

Docs playing in continued expansion and second runs include Laura Poitras’s Risk, Sébastien Chabot’s The Gardener, Tristan Cooke’s popular Strangers of the Earth, and cat doc Kedi, which is still going strong in its fourth month of release. Ottawa gets two premieres this week with Vanessa Gould’s wonderful Obit at the ByTowne and John Bolton’s Aim for the Roses at the Mayfair, and one couldn’t find a better venue for this wild and crazy doc musical hybrid.

Opening this Week:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Dir. Steve James | USA | 84 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, June 2 – Fri, June 9

Aim for the Roses Review | Feature
Dir. John Bolton | Canada | 102 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, June 2; Wed, June 7 – Thurs, June 8

David Lynch: The Art Life
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Tues, June 6 – Wed, June 7

The Gardener
Dir. Sébastien Chabot | Canada | 88 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Fri, June 2 – Thurs, June 8

Giants of Africa
Dir. Hubert Davis | Canada | 77 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, June 2 – Sun, June 4; Tues, June 6 – Thurs, June 8

I Called Him Morgan
Dir. Kasper Collin | USA | 92 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Wed, June 7 – Thurs, June 8
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, June 2; Mon, June 5; Wed, June 7 – Thurs, June 8
—>Rev Gary Paterson from St Andrew’s Wesley will introduce the final screening, June 8th

Kedi
Dir. Ceyda Torun | Turkey/USA | 79 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, June 2 – Thurs, June 8
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, June 2 – Thurs, June 8
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, June 2 – Sun, June 4; Thurs, June 8

Murphy’s Law
Dir. Megan Murphy | Canada | 78 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sun, June 4
—>Director Megan Murphy will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

Obit
Dir. Vanessa Gould | USA | 93 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, June 2 – Tues, June 6

Risk
Dir. Laura Poitras | Germany/USA | 92 min.
-Toronto, ON: The Regent – Fri, June 2 – Sun, June 4; Tues, June 6 – Thurs, June 8

Score: A Film Music Documentary
Dir. Matt Schrader | USA | 93 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, June 2 – Thurs, June 8

Strangers on the Earth
Dir. Tristan Cooke | USA | 90 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Wed, June 7
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, June 2 – Sun, June 4; Tues, June 6 – Thurs, June 8
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Fri, June 2; Sun, June 4 – Tues, June 6
-Guelph, ON: Bookshelf Cinema – Fri, June; Wed, June 6 – Thurs, June 8
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Sat, June 3 – Sun, June 4
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, June 2 – Sun, June 4; Tues, June 6 – Thurs, June 8

Vancouver: No Fixed Address
Dir. Charles Wilkinson | Canada | 75 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, June 2; Tues, June 6 – Thurs, June 8

Retro Screenings:

Don’t Look Back
Dir. D. A. Pennebaker | USA | 1967 | 96 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, June 2; Tues, June 5

Enjoy a week at the movies!

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