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Reviews

The Wall

Set in 2007, after the official end of the Iraq war had been announced, The Wall follows two American soldiers who investigate the area where civilian workers were attacked during the construction of an oil pipeline.  The soldiers find themselves pinned behind a crumbling wall by an enemy sniper and struggling for survival.

Reviews

Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees

Botanist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger guides us through the forests of Vancouver Island, California, Germany, Japan, and Ireland in Jeff McKay’s documentary Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees.  Like many ecological documentaries, the film emphasizes the relationship between trees and other organisms that make up complex forest ecosystems as well as how this ecosystem is connected to the earth’s oceans and atmosphere.

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.

One-on-Ones

Wylie Writes’ One-On-One with Shimon Dotan

Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan’s previous efforts have earned him recognition in his home country, where he has won nine Israeli Academy Awards for his work as a writer, producer, and director.  Though most of his films are narrative-based, the documentary Hot House (2006) earned acclaim when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Reviews

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo

David Fairhead’s Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo shifts its focus from astronauts, and directs it to scientists, engineers, and technicians who played an essential role behind-the-scenes in the success of the Apollo era space program.  These are the men that made the moon landing happen from back on earth, but their efforts are rarely as celebrated or glamorized as those of astronauts such as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

One-on-Ones

Wylie Writes’ Two-On-One with Wyatt Russell and Marc-André Grondin

Goon: Last of the Enforcers is the sequel to Goon, the surprisingly successful 2011 indie-comedy about a bouncer from Massachusetts named Doug Glatt (played by Seann William Scott) who begins a career as an enforcer for a minor-league hockey team in Halifax.  In the new film, six years have passed. Doug and his love interest, Eva (Alison Pill), are now married and expecting a child but their happiness is complicated by injuries and rival players…

Reviews

Goon: Last of the Enforcers

The original Goon (2011) was a special thing: an indie sports-comedy that was funny without being over-the-top, and heartfelt without being outright cheesy.  It was also indisputably Canadian without relying on stereotypes or clichés.  The film made the audience care about Doug (Seann William Scott), a dim-witted but kind bouncer from Massachusetts who uses his better-than-average brawling skills to become a professional enforcer for a minor-league hockey team in Halifax.  We were invested in his…

Reviews

The Settlers

What is a settler?  An extremist?  A visionary fulfilling a spiritual mission?  A murderer?  An invader?  According to the most basic definition offered by Shimon Dotan’s The Settlers, a settler is someone who has built their home “in an area over which the State of Israel has no sovereignty”.