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Revolution

By: Addison Wylie Revolution could very well be one of this year’s most important watches, but by the end of the documentary, you’ll be wondering what’s more of a threat: carbon dioxide poisoning in our atmosphere or filmmaker Rob Stewart’s constant need to be on camera.  I can’t ignore it.  No one can.  Stewart just loves to star in his own passion project. I hesitate to continue with this criticism about the director/producer/writer/cinematographer for fear…

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Hot Docs 2013: The Ghosts in our Machine is Hauntingly Good

By: Addison Wylie According to The Ghosts in our Machine, it’s easier for photographer Jo-Anne McArthur to go unseen in factory farms than it is to be seen in major publications. McArthur has dedicated her life to capturing the life of unkempt animals through her lens to spread the word of inhumane treatment aimed towards animals to garner material goods.  Whether she’s tagging along with other passionate individuals or executing guerrilla missions as we saw…

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Hot Docs 2013: A Breath of Fresh Air

By: Addison Wylie Morag McKinnon and Emma Davie’s documentary I Am Breathing is really good and moviegoers will be thankful that they were fortunate to see it. Audiences feel enlightened having spent time with Neil Platt. Platt, having been diagnosed with MND (Motor Neurone Disease), spends his life paralyzed as he plays with his son and humours his nurturing wife. He loves words and always has interesting things to say and even more interesting ways…

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Hot Docs 2013: Shooting Bigfoot and Scoring Laughs

By: Addison Wylie The documentary Shooting Bigfoot follows three expeditions led by four different devoted and off-kilter trackers. One subject is Rick Dyer. Dyer has had his name besmirched in the world of hunting Bigfoot due to a scam that took the media by storm. Once he finds Bigfoot, he plans to capture it and take its life. Another hunter is Tom Biscardi, a well known tracker who has no interest in killing Bigfoot, but…

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Hot Docs 2013: Alias Chokes at the Mic

By: Addison Wylie Alias made me frustrated.  Watching Michelle Latimer’s documentary provoked me in a way that pushed me to talk back to the screen – something I rarely do. Alias focuses on a small handful of Toronto rappers trying to be heard and to please an audience with their music and lyrics.  According to the synopsis, Latimer’s doc “digs deeper than the usual portrait of the rap world as glamour, guns and swagger.”  I…

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2016: Obama’s America

By: Addison Wylie It’s easy for the public to slap negative accusations on the political documentary 2016: Obama’s America. It’s almost asking for it with its timely release during the current presidential race. I’m a critic who enjoys watching a variety of different movies but I’m also someone who hasn’t been keeping up with current politics nor knows a lot about US President Barack Obama’s history and what makes him tick. In a way though,…

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Chimpanzee

By: Addison Wylie I don’t like the route that these new documentaries from DisneyNature have taken. Plain and simple. I don’t like how facts have taken a backseat and cute stitched together stories have taken the forefront. These are documentaries after all, not straight forward narratives. Understandably, Disney is making these films for a young target audience. But still, young acquiring minds don’t mind the odd instance of factual information. These nature documentaries draw in…

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Katy Perry: Part of Me

By: Addison Wylie These recent concert documentaries have done a terrific job at peeling away layers of a hot musical artist and presenting them to audiences in a vulnerable way. Katy Perry: Part of Me may just be the most naked one yet. That’s not to say Perry DOES get naked. That would obliterate any chance of getting a PG rating and creating an accessible product for her young fans. Perry does however keep up …

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Bully

By: Addison Wylie People hear statistics about how frequent bullying is in the school system but, for the most part, it’s remained a problem that’s been sitting on the back burner. However, after the recent extremes bullying has caused (including youth suicides), Filmmaker Lee Hirsch has made Bully, a documentary that gives audiences an intimate look at how the issue is handled in schools located in Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma as well as the…

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To The Arctic

By: Addison Wylie To The Arctic is another documentary that reminds us just how relentless heat is against Mother Nature. The film, to which showcases the habitats and lifestyles of arctic animals (primarily a polar bear family), has an abundance of sweeping establishing shots showing audiences how much more desolate the deepest part of the Northern hemisphere has become.A strong attribute of Greg MacGillivray’s documentary (also co-produced by his son, Shaun) is its ability to tell…