TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘In The Rearview’

Posted in Festival Coverage, TIFF 2023 by - September 17, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘In The Rearview’

A child looks out to the window and correct another child, telling him that the sea isn’t endless. While looking it up, yes, it may make sense that these Ukrainian children are looking out to the Black Sea, but they more likely have a view of the Dnipro River, as they pass through Kyiv and to Warsaw. A journey like this takes a day and extra if director and driver Maciek Hamela drives without stopping. What he’s doing is heroic, both driving Ukrainians out of the DPR, a few at a time. I can imagine that war can bring two major responses. One can either look out for number one or do what Hamela is doing, which is to help people altruistically and sincerely.

Some shots in Hamela’s film In The Rearview show the views that his passengers may see. They’re either the river or the sea, but most times it’s the rubble that they once called home. But for the most part, Hamela turns his camera to his passengers either looking out or talking to him. A lot of his interviewees are memorable, including a Congolese woman who mournfully calls the Ukraine her second home, one she hopes to return to. He also mostly transport families with children. One of these children is a five year old who flashes a card to the camera with information about her. Without sounding like a cornball, the documentary reminds us of children like her who experienced war way too young.


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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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