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Alive Inside

By: Addison Wylie Alive Inside is a touching documentary that may have entered your life without you even knowing. A video circulated around the Internet featuring Henry, a mumbling man living with dementia who’s mind is expanded when he listens to music. His eyes bulge, he starts to move in his seat, and he can inspiredly recollect memories. This segment emotionally affected people across the globe, and it’s just one of the many moving moments…

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If You Build It

By: Addison Wylie Educators/designers/activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller organized a program called Studio H and aimed it towards a select group of high school students in the Bertie County.  The class involves teens brushing up on carpentry and learning about architecture.  The program then has the students utilizing their skills towards their own community. Bertie County is undemanding.  Those who live in the stoic Northern California area understand their unfortunate circumstances and try to…

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The Final Member

By: Addison Wylie The Final Member – an outrageous documentary from filmmakers Jonah Bekor and Zach Math – is cheekily strange and hilariously honest.  I half expected mockumentary legend Christopher Guest to come running out at any moment. There’s no way this documentary about the world’s lone penis museum could be real.  Fortunately, it is.  And, don’t be surprised if this fascinating film becomes one of your favourite docs of the new year.  Not since…

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Charles Bradley: Soul of America

By: Addison Wylie It’s hard to find dislikable qualities in Poull Brien’s crowd pleaser Charles Bradley: Soul of America.  Whether you attend a screening of the film because you like Bradley’s music, funk/blues music in general, or a good underdog story, Brien’s doc will have you leaving the theatre with a giant smile plastered to your face while you bob your head to the funky tunes streamlining through your cranium. The doc quickly lets movie…

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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…