By: Jessica Goddard Margaret Atwood is fairly low-hanging fruit as far as documentary subjects go. At the moment, it’s almost certain she’s Canada’s most recognized, beloved author, and her latest novel, The Testaments, came out in September and is a sequel to her best-known work, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Despite all the less-than-stellar changes made to TIFF this year, the festival continues to excel in giving a voice to Canadian filmmakers and video artists. Representatives of TIFF, once again, gathered in the Fairmont Royal York hotel to announce Canadian films which will play at the festival this year and then – presumably – disappear into Canadian cinemas, where a few of them will compete with the latest Oscar bait and Hollywood slop.
Al Purdy Was Here has a lot of strengths going for it including its peaceful camerawork with editing to match, and an enigmatic subject filled with so much knowledge and pathos. But, to me, the most inspiring elements of Brian D. Johnson’s documentary is how illustrative it is with influence.