Spring is the time for optimism. Certainly that’s the case in Canada, where so many of us have survived a tough winter. Now we can hear birds chirping, feel the warm sunshine, and see flowers in bloom. But in the world of documentaries, we enjoy the paradox of being forced back indoors to appreciate the efforts of friends and colleagues who have produced great new works for us to view in cinemas, on streaming services, and at festivals such as Hot Docs.
This POV continues a long tradition of surveying some of the season’s most exciting new films in a section that acknowledges the 30th anniversary of Hot Docs. Judy Wolfe profiles industry legend Elizabeth Klinck, who is the subject of a special focus in the festival, while a number of our contributors look at a diverse slate of Canadian-made docs. Danita Steinberg has fun looking at the surprising tale of how Lebanese immigrants saved a burger franchise in Alberta; Justine Smith uncovers the lives of members of the LGBTQ community in Saigon; the intrepid Rachel Ho looks at devil worshippers and witches; Madeline Lines gives us the inside scoop on B.C.’s forestry industry; Courtney Small investigates Canada’s biased legal system; and I learn about the strange history of California’s Coachella Valley.
POV’s prodigious publisher Pat Mullen has contributed an exciting cover story on Davis Guggenheim’s moving profile of Canadian great Michael J. Fox. He leads off a section that takes us “Back to the Future” with Gesilayefa Azorbo looking at AI and “deepfakes,” award-winning editor Nick Hector assessing the differences between analogue and digital editing, and Albert Ohayon recommending ten unknown but genuinely worthwhile NFB films.
The meaning of family photographs for Black and Indigenous communities is the point of departure for a couple of thoughtful essays by Connor Garel and Laurence Butet-Roch. An international perspective is on hand with veteran American editor and writer Tom White’s critical view of ethics in documentary filmmaking, while Canadian Jason Gorber—who travels widely—surveys the current crop of films on Ukraine.
As editor, I’d like to thank all of my talented contributors who helped put this issue together.