Archive for the ‘Hot Docs’ Category

A scene from Inside Lara RoxxThe porn industry is an interesting organism that in some ways exists in a world of its own – but it’s always welcoming new members. Another curiosity is the insistence that everyone is a family and most of the negative incidents can be attributed to “an other.” They self-regulate regarding issues of safety and health, but there is also a lot of pressure to break the rules or risk being black listed. Lara Roxx was 21 and just starting out, but she encountered all these aspects of the industry. Then she contracted HIV. (more…)

Director Vikram Gandhi is Kumaré.The atheist population is rising as is their visibility (think of the last controversy regarding TTC advertisements); however, the number of agnostics is also increasing as people become disenchanted with organized religion and spiritual leaders, but still believe in some higher power. Director Vikram Gandhi grew up in a religious household, immersed in Hinduism from a very young age; but he didn’t feel the prescribed connection or spiritual enlightenment. As an adult, Gandhi’s further explorations exposed the artificiality of most spiritual leaders in every religion. This was the initial subject of his documentary. (more…)

A scene from A Simple RhythmA Simple Rhythm is a feast for the senses. It’s aesthetically magnificent and the sound is captivating. Moreover, the narrative is a fascinating balance of informative and hypnotizing. (more…)

A scene from No Entry No ExitThis documentary is a chasm of ethical complexities for both those participating and audiences watching the events unfold. In this tightly edited film, directors Mareille Klein and Julie Kreuzer explore the repercussions that reverberate through a rural community in Germany when a convicted rapist moves into the neighbourhood. (more…)

A scene from The Battle for BarkingEmbarking on our own nation’s election, I was intrigued by this film that documented the fierce competition in a particular borough of London during the 2010 federal election. If anything, the following description gave me the hope that watching this movie would make me feel exponentially better about Canada’s leadership options. (more…)

Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte in a scene from The Black Power Mixtape 1967 - 1975The ‘60s wasn’t all hippies and flower power. The Beatles were not the only phenomenon sweeping the United States. And Neil Armstrong wasn’t the only one taking giant steps for the future of humanity. The Black Power Movement took various forms at different times, but the mission to raise coloured people out of poverty and achieve equality was consistent. The movement grew out of the civil rights movement of the ‘50s and early ‘60s, but as circumstances changed so did the direction of the movement. Regardless of who was leading the call for change, it was always clear change was necessary. (more…)

A scene from El Bulli - Cooking in ProgressLast year, one of my top Hot Docs selections was Kings of Pastry, a documentary about the world’s top pastry chefs competing for the Meilleur Ouvrier. It was “one of the most delicious films ever committed to celluloid.” When I saw El Bulli – Cooking in Progress in this year’s program, I was immediately drawn to the film. Unfortunately, lightening didn’t strike twice and director Gereon Wetzel didn’t capture the same magic as D.A. Pennebaker. (more…)