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Certain Women

By: Jessica Goddard A movie packed with subtlety and nuance, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women both wrenches the heart and flexes one’s critical capacities.  Do we have sympathy for this character because we authentically suspect they’re a good person in spite of their actions, or do we desperately want them to be a good person because we feel so deeply sorry for them?

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ‘Do Donkeys Act?’ and ‘Flames’

Do Donkeys Act? (DIR. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin) Do Donkeys Act? takes an animal that is not usually afforded much dignity – the donkey – and gives movie goers an opportunity to let the animals speak for themselves (without speaking). The film takes its audience to visit various donkey sanctuaries around the world, where donkeys that have been subjected to abuse or neglect are cared for, healed, and allowed to relax and retire.

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ‘Birth of a Family’ and ‘Pecking Order’

Birth of a Family (DIR. Tasha Hubbard) Birth of a Family follows four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who were taken from their mother and placed in separate families during the “sixties scoop” – a period of three decades in Canada that saw tens of thousands of indigenous children removed from their homes and sent to live with non-indigenous families throughout North America.  Now middle aged, the siblings meet for the first time and attempt…

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ‘Gilbert’ and ‘Integral Man’

Gilbert (DIR. Neil Berkeley) I expected to laugh while watching Gilbert, but I certainly didn’t expect to be misty-eyed and charmed by foul-mouth comic Gilbert Gottfried.  Just as Private Parts showed an identifiable side to shock jock Howard Stern, Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert shows Gottfried’s tenderness while staying true to the comedian’s relentlessly profane wheelhouse.

Festival Coverage

Hot Docs 2017: ’78/52′ and ‘Motel’

78/52 (DIR. Alexandre Philippe) It’s a testament to Alfred Hitchcock’s talent as a filmmaker that he directed the shower scene from Psycho and he is still known for things other than that;  any other director would have simply become known by that singular sequence.  Even though, that particular scene may well be the single most studied, analyzed and deconstructed scene in the history of cinema and, as a part of this tradition, there is Alexandre…