Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Faith and Branko’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Faith and Branko’

How do people fall in love in the year of our lord 2021? Well, first of all, Faith and Branko starts in 2009 and follows the life of the titular subjects for at least four years, so maybe those few years made it easy. And the documentary doesn’t have all the answers to that question although it seems to propose one theory. Love is as real as people feel it, but they’re also feeling their perception of love and that person and the community they belong to.

Branko, a Serbo-Romani violinist, wears a fedora because he thinks his wife Faith’s home …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Wuhan Wuhan’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Wuhan Wuhan’

From celebrated director Yung Chang, the man behind films like Up The Yangtze, The Fruit Hunters and This is Not a Movie, comes an unflinching look at dedicated people fighting hard back against the killer that is COVID-19, Wuhan Wuhan. Co-produced with Martial Arts Legend Donnie Yen, Chang and his team starts filming in February 2020, while Wuhan is still very much in the clutches of its first massive wave of the disease, and remarkably gain full access to areas that would otherwise likely be unfathomable.

Wuhan Wuhan follows the lives of a few people at the frontlines of the crisis, …

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Straight Line: Our Review of ‘Wrath of Man’

Movies, Theatrical ‐ May 07, 2021
Straight Line: Our Review of ‘Wrath of Man’

Sometimes…you’ve just got to get biblical with it…

While Wrath of Man isn’t without some flaws, it is a full on dead serious action flick that doesn’t flinch at making sure we get more than a little uncomfortable with the swath of violence that is being unleashed on screen.

A mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard (Jason Statham) surprises his coworkers during a heist in which he unexpectedly unleashes precision skills. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘World Showcase Shorts: Look Don’t Touch’

Hot Docs bills one of its World Showcase Shorts programs as one about spying, but I see is more as one about the crossing of borders. The first two shorts about people making that crossing or trying to. But then animals become subjects in these docs too, making this complex.

Indonesia and Norway are three plane rides away but that’s the ride that Audun Kvitland is willing to take. He’s the main subject in Audun Amundsen and Petter Heggen Help, I’ve Gone Viral! Sounding like a young Werner Herzog, he becomes a viral sensation in both countries as he sings a …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Imad’s Childhood’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Imad’s Childhood’

There are scene in Imad’s Childhood when the titular subject, a five year old Yazidi boy who returned to his community after ISIS kidnapped him and his family, do a child’s impression of ISIS. He hits his classmates and plant a tree on a road and pretend it’s a bomb. On another, holds a knife and uses it to try to carve a table. Some viewers can see this and feel the need to worry. His mother also worries that he will never change. Another woman in his community, a child psychologist, has a different approach to the boy acting out …

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Complications: Our Review of ‘Monster (2021)’ on Netflix

Complications: Our Review of ‘Monster (2021)’ on Netflix

Anthony Mandler’s film adaptation of Walter Dean Myers’ Monster enjoyed opening and closing night slots on prestigious festivals back in 2018. It’s taken three years, but the jump from festivals finally happened. And today, mainstream viewers who watch their films through streaming services get to see the story of a Black male teenage film student. That student is Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), who gets the ‘monster’ label from a racist New York District Attorney (Paul Ben-Victor).

The state puts Steve in jail because two Black men robbed and killed a Latinx bodega owner, and the film switches among different scenario …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘The Return: Life After Isis’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘The Return: Life After Isis’

Life After Isis has the most difficult thing to ask for their viewers and that is to sympathize with girls and women who joined ISIS when that unrecognized state still existed. And that ask has bigger ramifications. If these girls and women gain our sympathy, that means that they can come back to the countries they betrayed. And for the most part, the subjects here earn our sympathy. Many scenes have the director interviewing these subjects, and they talked about the freedom that ISIS promised. Even travelling to Syria got them that freedom and made them feel an early enthusiasm.

The …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle’

Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle is a comprehensive documentary. It tackles the issues that the Sami peoples of Finland currently deal with. And most of those problems become topics of mainstream discussion. Both members of the Finnish and the Sami government started the Truth and Reconciliation project back in 2019. It’s similar to the one active in Canada a few years ago. And the documentary captures the Sami speaking on those commissions on behalf of their people. The youth and college students especially risk being victims of hate crimes. And those crimes make Sami youth want to hide their rich culture.

Eatnameamet …

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Differences: Our Review of ‘Son of the South’

Son of the South has a very unique perspective on historical events with a socially relevant message. Even though yes, it has some odd structuring and a script that does not always flow naturally.

Being based on Bob Zellner’s autobiography “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek,” the film tells the story of a grandson of a Klansman who comes of age in the deep south. He eventually defies his family’s values and joins the Civil Rights Movement. With that movement, he helps fight against the social injustice, repression, and violence to change the world he was born into.

Right off the bat. …

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Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘I’m Wanita’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘I’m Wanita’

Directed by Matthew Walker, I’m Wanita shines a spotlight on Wanita Bahtiyar, Australia’s self-crowned ‘Queen of Honky Tonk’. Beloved for her song-writing ability and her desire to help others, Wanita has made a mess of her life behind the scenes. After over two decades of hard partying and sex work, Wanita has caused incredible strain on her family relationships. Now, after a legendary Nashville producer commits to working with her, Wanita has one last shot to break through the country music scene and hit the big time.

In many ways, Wanita feels like a unique redemption story for its central character. …

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