Docs Opening in Canada this Week (June 9-15)

A Better Man
Courtesy of the NFB


By Pat Mullen

One of the most talked-about films at Hot Docs 2017 returns for a Toronto encore this week as A Better Man kicks off a theatrical run at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. This brave film sees newcomer Attiya Khan reunite with her ex-boyfriend Steve, who abused her over 20 years ago. What follows is a disarming conversation as Attiya’s search for answers guides Steve to confront his actions and see firsthand the lasting consequences of domestic violence. A series of exchanges and interviews between Khan and Steve, as well as their counsellor, who plays a pivotal role in guiding these memories into cathartic closure for both parties, chart an engaging healing process as documentary and therapy blur. The film encourages audiences to continue the discussion and demonstrates that it’s only through dialogue that progress towards ending violence against women will be found. Read more about A Better Man in the POV #106 feature ‘The Freshmen.’

This week’s other new release, which also opens at HDTRC, might pair well with A Better Man for a double bill about spiritual journeys. Sacred from director Thomas Lennon offers a thoughtful and meditative consideration of world religions. The doc spans to globe to explore the various forms that faith assumes as practitioners of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and a variety of other denominations speak alongside agnostics and atheists to convey what guides them through life. Shot by 40 teams in 40 countries, Sacred is a truly global perspective on the diversity of faiths. The range of handiwork admittedly lends to a wildly inconsistent variety of styles, looks, and technical aptitudes across the board, but Lennon compensates for the aesthetic unevenness by emphasizing the intersections between religions that unite people around the world in common quests for meaning.


Sacred – Trailer from ProgramDocs on Vimeo.

Opening this Week:

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

The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism
Dir. Phil Grabsky | USA | 88 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Tues, June 13 – Wed, June 14

The Beekeeper and His Son
Dir. Diedie Weng | Canada/Swtizerland | 85 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, June 9 – Thurs, June 15

A Better Man
Dir. Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman | Canada | 79 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, June 9 – Thurs, June 15
—>Directors Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman will be in attendance for post-screening Q&As on Friday, June 9 (6:30pm), Saturday, June 10 (6:30pm) and Sunday, June 11 (8:45pm).

Black Men Loving
Dir. Ella Cooper | Canada | 27 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Thurs, June 15

Bugs
Dir. Andreas Johnsen | Denmark/Netherlands/France/Germany | 73 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Sat, June 10; Tues, June 13 – Wed, June 14

Call of the Forest
Dir. Jeff McKay | Canada | 82 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Mon, June 12
—>Pick up a copy of POV #106 to read more about Call of the Forest!

The Gardener
Dir. Sébastien Chabot | Canada | 88 min.
-Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: Princess Cinemas – Sat, June 10; Tues, June 13 – Wed, June 14

I Called Him Morgan
Dir. Kasper Collin | USA | 92 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, June 9 – Sat, June 10

Kedi
Dir. Ceyda Torun | Turkey/USA | 79 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, June 9 – Thurs, June 15
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, June 9 – Thurs, June 15
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, June 9 – Sun, June 11
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Sun, June 11

Mermaids
Dir. Ali Weinstein | Canada | 80 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Thurs, June 15

Risk
Dir. Laura Poitras | Germany/USA | 92 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Tues, June 13 – Wed, June 14

Sacred
Dir. Thomas Lennon | USA | 86 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, June 9 – Sun, June 11; Tues, June 13

The Skin We’re In
Dir. Charles Officer | Canada | 44 min.
-Toronto, ON: Revue Cinema – Mon, June 12
—>The screening will be followed by a discussion with Desmond Cole. Admission is free, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Donations greatly appreciated.

Simple Arrangements
Dir. Aaron Hall | Canada | 80 min.
-Toronto, ON: Revue Cinema – Tues, June 13

Strangers on the Earth
Dir. Tristan Cooke | USA | 90 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, June 9
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, June 9 – Sun, June 11; Tues, June 13 – Thurs, June 15
-Guelph, ON: Bookshelf Cinema – Fri, June 9 – Sat, June 10

The Swim Team
Dir. Lara Stolman | USA | 90 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Mon, June 12
—> Admission by donation

Things Arab Men Say
Dir. Nisreen Baker | Canada |
-Toronto, ON: Jackman Hall – Thurs, June 15
—>Screening followed by a panel discussion featuring: filmmaker Nisreen Baker; Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale – High Park and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) and Kamal Al-Solaylee, Award-winning author and professor of Journalism at Ryerson University
—>Check back soon for the POV review!

Vancouver: No Fixed Address
Dir. Charles Wilkinson | Canada | 75 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Wed, June 14
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Thurs, June 15

Retro Screenings:

Titicut Follies
Dir. Frederick Wiseman | USA | 1967 | 84 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Tues, June 13
—>ntroduced by Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, UBC

Enjoy a week at the movies!

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