Hot Docs 2020 (Online): Our Review of ‘Two Roads’

Hot Docs 2020 (Online): Our Review of ‘Two Roads’

Two Roads follows the latest tour of The Tap Tap, a popular Czech orchestra made up of individuals with physical disabilities. Led by band leader Simon Ornest, the film offers a behind the scenes look into the daily lives of the group as they prepare for a climactic concert.

Lovable, funny and inspiring, Two Roads is a beautiful film that challenges assumptions about those with disabilities. It celebrates what they can accomplish when given the opportunity to succeed. The title of the film, Two Roads, is a reference to the famed poem by Robert Frost. That poem highlights the challenges of taking the road less traveled. For the film, however, the more difficult path becomes living one’s life. To do so in a way that is not limited by the obstacles that they may face. Following the lives and loves of the members of The Tap Tap, director Radovan Sibrt gives each character the dignity that they deserve. They’re not just people struggling with disease or disability but they’re fully human. Two Roads recognizes that their challenges are merely part of their lives and do not define them.

To paraphrase band member Jana Augustinova, Roads avoids falling into the trap of becoming a ‘positive porno’. It doesn’t highlight their triumph over their disabilities in an overly emotional way. It doesn’t portray the band members as ‘heroes’. Instead, the film does an excellent job of showcasing the passions and flaws that make them like everyone else. Band leader Ornest manages to bring the band together by holding them to equally high standards of behavior. Regardless of disability, with a balance of strength and loving grace. With an emphasis on common human dignity, Roads redefines what it means to live a ‘normal’ life and celebrates the individuals for who they are.

Two Roads premieres at HotDocs Festival on May 28th, 2020.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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