‘Gift’ Opens in Toronto this Week (Win Tickets!)


What do we expect in return from art? Robin McKenna’s new documentary Gift explores the relationships between creators and consumers by considering the exchanges that occur as people engage with the works of art around them. Gift opens in Toronto on Friday, May 17 at the Carlton Cinema after scoring a nomination for the Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary and inspiring audiences on the circuit last year. The film draws from Lewis Hyde’s classic The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World using poetic character studies about the dedicated artists who offer their gifts to the world. Reviewing the film at The Gate, Andrew Parker calls it “a wonderful plea for people to step outside of themselves and let art into their hearts and minds at every opportunity.”

Synopsis: Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s beloved classic The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, Gift is a richly cinematic film, interweaving character-driven stories. On North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast, a young indigenous man undertakes the elaborate preparations for a potlatch—to make a name for himself by giving everything away. In Rome, Italy, a factory occupied by migrant families is transformed into a living museum, protected by a “barricade of art”: a model of resistance, and an invaluable gift. In the pirate utopia of Burning Man, a mutant bumblebee art car distributes honey in a post-­apocalyptic desert landscape. Meanwhile, in Auckland, New Zealand, artist Mingwei Lee prepares to launch Sonic Blossom – a “transformative gift” of song. Gift is a tribute to something that can’t be measured or counted, bought or sold. Exploring the parallels between artists’ work and a gift economy, it’s a reflection on the creative process, the reasons we “labour in service of our gifts”, and a celebration of the imagination.

Gift opens in Toronto on Friday, May 17 at the Carlton Cinema.

Thanks to our friends at Cinema Politica, POV has 2 pairs of tickets to give away to see Gift! Email info@povmagazine.com to enter!


GIFT-Trailer from Gaudete Films on Vimeo.