TIFF14 REVIEW: Beats of the Antonov [??]

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“Laughter is like a new birth” Sudanese director Hajooj Kuka‘s documentary Beats of the Antonov is smartly constructed in a way that eases us into the political message and hope for peace lying underneath the music and laughter initially portrayed. Beginning with a look at the people residing in the Blue Nile and the Nuba […]

REVIEW: Take Me to the River [2014]

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“Everything we touched turned to gold and they couldn’t figure out how” While it could have easily become a simple behind the scenes feature for an album of three generations of Memphis soul musicians coming together to recut some hits, Take Me to the River finds room to be more. Stewarded by director Martin Shore […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: The Wanted 18 [??]

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“It means the ragheads are pissed off again” Who knew cows could be a symbol of freedom, resistance, self-sufficiency, and identity? On the surface it’s absurd and yet they became Palestinian town Beit Sahour’s greatest weapon against the Israeli occupation during the First Intifada from 1987-1993. When you’re taxed by a foreign government, forced to […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: Trick or Treaty [??]

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“The sun rises for our people” A constant fixture with the National Film Board of Canada, director Alanis Obomsawin‘s latest documentary spans a variety of themes surrounding the weighted subject of the James Bay Treaty No. 9. Signed in 1905 by the Cree and Ojibway people, their First Nation descendants have long held it to […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: Chop My Money [2014]

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“This is my photograph for my family” Give a street kid in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo some attention with a camera and he’s going to provide you the type of footage perfectly suited for rockstar treatment. Is Theo Anthony glorifying the deeds of Manu Bahiti “Patient” Jean Christophe, warning us outsiders of the […]

REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth [2014]

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“And if that doesn’t do it—you shoot the clown” I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While […]

REVIEW: Warriors of the Discotheque [2012]

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“The Now Explosion” Everyone’s aware of Studio 54’s reign as nightclub supreme from 1977-1981: its sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. But what about the 80s? I’m not saying I should know the “It” club of the decade I was born, but it’s interesting that an era of excess, fashion, and eccentricity doesn’t possess a […]

REVIEW: Particle Fever [2014]

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“The hype is approximately accurate” Science! You either see it as the backbone to understanding or you don’t and everyone who doesn’t may want to avoid Mark Levinson‘s Particle Fever because it’s first and foremost a document about the subject’s cool factor and importance. If you’re a creationist and everything you hold true about our […]

REVIEW: L’image manquante [The Missing Picture] [2013]

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“Our only belonging was our spoon” How do you tell the story of something as horrific as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s four-year rule over Cambodia after the Kampuchean Revolution when the only footage shot was that distributed by the regime itself? This is the problem director Rithy Panh faced, a teenager when war […]

REVIEW: Dirty Wars [2013]

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“We call them the American Taliban” The Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars is a powerful, eye-opening exposé on the covert operations of the United States government abroad in war zones both declared and not. You’ll find yourself at the edge of your seat as it progresses forward; riveted to every word and newly discovered evidence explaining […]

REVIEW: Al-Midan [The Square] [2013]

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“We were all present; we were one hand” As the initial sit-in at Tahrir Square taught the Egyptian people the power of protest and revolution in securing freedoms they only dreamed they could have, Jehane Noujaim’s Al-Midan [The Square] shares it on an international scale. I’ll admit I thought everything was okay after Hosni Mubarak […]