Jean-François Caissy’s look into the Canadian Armed Forces’ intensive training program is a slice-of-life style treat for those especially interested in modern military training practices. First Stripes follows a 12-week course in French Canada, from the time recruits are being told the rules of the facility and getting in shape to performing mission simulations and learning how to use their weapons.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
1999 (DIR. Samara Grace Chadwick) A hauntingly dreamlike style of documentary and exploration of memory, Samara Grace Chadwick’s 1999 is artistically-conceived though low on information.
Playing Hard (DIR. Jean-Simon Chartier) Jean-Simon Chartier’s behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of video game development is engrossing, informative, and unexpectedly full of tension and drama.
The Artist & The Pervert (DIR. Beatrice Behn, René Gebhardt) Beatrice Behn and René Gebhardt’s The Artist & The Pervert tells the story of composer Georg Friedrich Haas and author/activist Mollena Williams’ dominant/submissive relationship, as well as the public’s response to it.
The Cleaners (DIR. Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck) Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s The Cleaners is a documentary that claims to be one thing, but is really about another topic.
Golden Dawn Girls (DIR. Håvard Bustnes) Håvard Bustnes’ Golden Dawn Girls is a feature-length interview-of-sorts with several female relatives of Nikolaos Michaloliakos, the head of the far-right, Greek “social nationalist” party known as Golden Dawn.
My Scientology Movie (DIR. John Dower) By: Addison Wylie My Scientology Movie had its sights set on portraying controversial religion with the involvement of the Church of Scientology, and without much of a bias. However, refusals to cooperate from the Church forced director John Dower and journalist Louis Theroux to think differently.
Hotel Coolgardie (DIR. Pete Gleeson) By: Addison Wylie I find myself with Hot Docs déjà vu. I liked a movie – at least, I think I did – but I feel sick to my stomach. A similar love/hate set of emotions I felt towards last year’s The Wolfpack.
Cheer Up (DIR. Christy Garland) By: Shannon Page Miia is the coach of the Ice Queens, a teenage cheerleading team from Finland’s Article Circle that regularly places dead-last in national competitions. Determined to win, Miia travels to Texas to learn the art of winning from the world champions, Cheer Athletics, and returns to Finland with the intention of turning her team around. The pressure that she puts on her girls to become the best pushes the…
The Pearl of Africa (DIR. Jonny von Wallström) By: Shannon Page Director Jonny von Wallström’s first full-length documentary is the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, a transgender woman living in Uganda who is forced to leave her country after a bill is passed making her gender identity punishable by life in prison or even execution. The Pearl of Africa follows Cleo as she travels from Uganda to Thailand for sex reassignment surgery.