Documentary

Reviews

A Sexplanation

Written and directed by health reporter Alex Liu, A Sexplanation is both a personal portrait of Liu’s own relationship with sex and an examination of the current debate surrounding sex ed in the United States.

Festival Coverage

Inside Out 2022: ‘Out in the Ring’

Full disclosure: Prior to his filmmaking debut with Out in the Ring, director Ryan Bruce Levey and I have worked together and we’ve kept in touch online.  When he announced Out in the Ring, I was excited to watch the doc because I was interested in the subject matter: wrestling and the LGBTQ+ influence the sport has had over decades.  The finished film, while mechanical in its style and a little long in the tooth,…

Reviews

Into the Weeds: Dewayne “Lee” Johnson vs. Monsanto Company

There’s no denying how uncompromising Into the Weeds: Dewayne “Lee” Johnson vs. Monsanto Company is with its recap of the ongoing legal battle against agriculture company Monsanto (now owned by Bayer).  The struggle for justice after Monsanto’s glyphosate was discovered to be extremely hazardous was an exhausting process for the plaintiffs, and documentarian Jennifer Baichwal does not want to skip over any details.  But, does this integrity affect the documentary?  For me, it did.

Reviews

Stronger By Stress

Every so often, I like to fall down a movie’s rabbit hole. We all like when a movie can take us to an escape, but I’m talking about being taken completely out of my element to be enlightened about a subject I’m absolutely clueless about.  I’ve taken this trip with faith-based movies before (notably War Room): I wasn’t moved by the movie but I appreciated the experience.  I was hoping Stronger By Stress was going…

Reviews

A Cops and Robbers Story

By: Trevor Chartrand Documentary filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu takes on a recent New York controversy in A Cops and Robbers Story;  which focuses on former NYPD chief Corey Pegues.  A vocal advocate against police brutality and racism, Pegues was the centre of a media swarm following a recent confession of his darker past. 

Reviews

Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché

In 1976, Marion Elliott-Said – a Somali-English teenager from London – formed a band.  That band, called X-Ray Spex, would quickly become one of the most distinct groups to emerge from the fledgling punk scene.  Marion, in her front-woman persona as Poly Styrene, broke into an industry that was overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male, paving the way for other female musicians and women of colour.  Many credit her with laying the foundations for what would,…

Reviews

Try Harder!

Lowell High School is the top-ranked public high school in San Francisco.  In a world where everyone is a straight-A student, Lowell seniors are stressed out, scrambling to secure places in the country’s top universities and balancing overwhelming pressure from their families and communities.