Reviews - Page 93

Giving you our points of view on the latest docs in release and on the circuit.

TIFF Review: ‘Collective’

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Collective (Romania/Luxemburg, 109 min.) Dir. Alexander Nanau Programme: TIFF Docs (North American Premiere) Anyone who wants to understand the line between journalism and documentary filmmaking needs to see Alexander Nanau’s Collective. This riveting newsroom doc offers a fly-on-the-wall portrait of journalists at Romania’s Sports Gazette newspaper. It’s as informative as a long read in the Saturday paper and as wildly engaging as a political thriller. Nanau is there every step of the way with the Sports Gazette team of Cătălin Tolontan, the publication’s editor-in-chief, and investigative journalists Mirela Neag and Razvan Lutac as they find an explosive story in the aftermath of tragedy. Their lead begins with

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TIFF Review: ‘Dads’

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Dads (USA, 87 min.) Dir. Bryce Dallas Howard Programme: TIFF Docs (World Premiere) “Finish this sentence,” director Bryce Dallas Howard instructs her celebrity interviewees. “A dad is…” Dads are a lot of different things as funny fatherly figures like Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Patton Oswalt, Will Smith, Conan O’Brien, Hasan Minhaj and Kenan Thompson each find the words to describe either their fathers or themselves as fathers. Some men choose to take the lighter side and acknowledge the universal truth that dads are embarrassing. Others look beyond the obvious dad jokes and share the deeper questions they’ve asked themselves since becoming

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TIFF Review: ‘And We Go Green’

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And We Go Green (USA, 99 min.) Dir. Fisher Stevens, Malcolm Venville Programme: TIFF Docs (World Premiere) “It’s lights out and away we go!” is one line that audiences might hear at the beginning of a Formula 1 race. Formula E, the environmentally friendly alternative to the fossil fuel polluting reality of Formula 1, takes the eco-friendly opening line even further. Each race begins with the ecstatic proclamation, “And we go green!” The energetic line appears throughout And We Go Green and each iteration is more triumphant than the last. The doc takes audiences on a spin through the world of technological innovation and

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TIFF Review: ‘The Australian Dream’

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The Australian Dream (Australia, 106 min.) Dir. Daniel Gordon Programme: TIFF Docs (International Premiere) Don’t ever let anyone tell you that one person can’t make a difference. The Australian Dream offers a much-needed portrait of an individual’s ability to inspire change through the story of footballer Adam Goodes. He’s one of the biggest football stars in Australia when the film looks at his career including the high profile 2012-2015 streak with the Sydney Swans. Better than any goal he ever scored on the field was the fight he carried outside the arena as he confronted his nation’s racist colonial past. Goodes, a two-time winner

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TIFF Review: ‘Henry Glassie: Field Work’

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Henry Glassie: Field Work (Ireland, 100 min.) Dir. Pat Collins Programme: Contemporary World Cinema (World Premiere) One could call Pat Collins an old soul. His unhurried films are quiet and thoughtful. Films like the docu-fiction hybrid Song of Granite (2017) transport viewers to the old country of Galway to interpret the life of seannós singer Joe Heaney. Silence (2012) immerses audiences in the ambient sounds of life to better understand the environments in which we live. His films bear witness to a way of life that is becoming scarce. These films move at a speed that feels alien to a world of cellphones, tweets,

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TIFF Review: ‘My English Cousin’

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My English Cousin (Switzerland/Qatar) Dir. Karim Sayad Programme: TIFF Docs (World Premiere) Meet Fahed Mameri. He’s the cousin of director Karim Sayad. Fahed’s life fuels his cousin’s documentary and his dull, tedious routine provides a thoughtful portrait of contemporary migrant life. One might think that Sayad’s “English Cousin” enjoys the fast life in London where he can zip around on the tube and indulge in the metropolitan lifestyle that makes its way into movies and images overseas. Not so much. The film observes Fahed in the portside working town of Grimsby, where he emigrated from Algeria in 2001. Unlike fast-paced life in

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Short But Sweet: TIFF Short Docs

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The list of short docs at TIFF ’19 is short but sweet. Only five non-fiction works screen in this year’s Short Cuts programme, but they are unique films that highlight a diverse range of topics, stories, and voices. We’ll be featuring interviews with two of the filmmakers throughout the festival, but in the meantime, here’s a trio of short docs to add to your TIFF schedule: No Crying at the Dinner Table (Canada, 16 min.) Dir. Carol Nguyen Programme: Short Cuts 8 Films about family can be a trap for new filmmakers. Clichés often abound with awkward but “well-intentioned” family portraits with a filmmaker

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TIFF Review: ‘Varda Par Agnès’

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Varda By Agnès (France, 115 min.) Dir. Agnès Varda Programme: Special Events (Canadian Premiere) Agnès Varda’s final film is a bittersweet farewell. It’s difficult to avoid watching Varda By Agnès, which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival a month before her death, without sensing that Varda knew she was signing off. This poignant self-portrait of a life well lived is a true inspiration. We should all be so lucky to contribute a fraction of the joy to the world that Varda provided in her prolific career. The doc sees the 90-year-old filmmaker reflect on her filmography from the

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