Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Hunting in Packs’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2022 by - May 08, 2022
Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Hunting in Packs’

Director Chloe Sosa-Sims sets out with Hunting in Packs to show a microcosm of women in 3 different countries. They all toil away to affect change in the male-dominated political arena. We follow these women as elections in each country loom ahead, with the promise of sweeping change. Sometimes controversial Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner tells her side of the story as the 2019 federal elections draw close. British MP Jess Phillips struggles to affect change in domestic abuse legislation as her country elects Boris Johnson is and drives the country straight into Brexit. And Pramila Jayapal spearheads the Medicare For All movement as the Biden/Trump election draws near.

Politics aside, this is a portrait of three determined and unfazed women, who are shown being derided and undermined. The strive to persevere and effect some measure of change for their constituencies. The film does feel like a spiritual successor to 2019’s fantastic Knock Down the House. But where that film succeeds in drawing parallels between each of the subjects on screen, Hunting in Packs struggles. In fact, the three women on screen are vastly different and struggling with different agendas to push forward. This leads the film to be more about competing stories for stretches at a time before it discovers the next common thread.

That’s not to say there’s not fascinating stuff on screen, I’d gladly watch a full documentary on Jess Phillips and her fight, but it does make the film as a whole feels disjointed at times.

  • Release Date: 5/3/2022
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"Kirk Haviland is an entertainment industry veteran of over 20 years- starting very young in the exhibition/retail sector before moving into criticism, writing with many websites through the years and ultimately into festival work dealing in programming/presenting and acquisitions. He works tirelessly in the world of Canadian Independent Genre Film - but is also a keen viewer of cinema from all corners of the globe (with a big soft spot for Asian cinema!)
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