The Top 19 Reads of 2019!

By Pat Mullen

We’ve counted down our picks for the must-see Canadian documentaries and best international docs of 2019, but which stories attracted the most readers? Surprisingly enough, very few of the films that came out on top of our own lists ranked among the year’s most popular reads. However, this trend is somewhat consistent with the popularity of festival films over general releases.

However, the top read of 2019 is an anomaly. For the first time, a negative review tops the list. That film is Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, which received a mild ‘thumb’s down’ from us during Hot Docs. Trixie remains consistent with another top read of recent years, though: 2017’s #1 page view getter, Susanne Bartsch: On Top. The moral of the story: cover films with a connection to RuPaul’s Drag Race!

Trixie and Susanne illustrate that reviews remain most popular among readers’ interests. Of the top 19 reads, 13 are reviews. Although it’s worth noting that interviews with the filmmakers of For Sama and You Don’t Nomi narrowly missed the list and rounded out the most popular interviews, proving that there’s still power in a Q&A.

Here are the top 19 reads of 2019 according to unique pageviews at

  1. Hot Docs Review: Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody: Rudi Remembering Freddie
  3. Hot Docs Review: Because We Are Girls
  4. POV 111 Cover Story: Doc of Ages
  5. Hot Docs Highlight: Justice for Colten
  6. Hot Docs Review: Toxic Beauty
  7. Festival Report: From Aliens to AOC, Sundance Docs Brought Down the House
  8. Review: Screen Time: Roger Waters Us + Them
  9. Hot Docs Review: The El Duce Tapes
  10. Hot Docs Review: The Pickup Game
  11. Review: Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue is the Seinfeld of Documentaries
  12. Hot Docs Review: There Are No Fakes
  13. Review: The Impossible Swim
  14. Interview: The Tipping Point – Fredrik Gertten Talks Push and the Global Housing Crisis
  15. Hot Docs Review: Hope Frozen
  16. Hot Docs Review: On the President’s Orders
  17. Hot Docs Review: Drag Kids
  18. Interview: Rat Park Director Shawney Cohen on Changing the Conversation About Drugs
  19. Review: Toni Morrison: Sweet and Savoury Wisdom

(And if your favourite story isn’t listed here, share it!)