The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival sweeps through Toronto once again from now till May 8th to showcase the best in international documentary filmmaking. It is the largest documentary festival, conference and market for documentary filmmakers in North America.
This year special presentation features Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop and Bobby Fischer Against the World. Out of the 150 documentaries screening at this year’s festival, here are a few of highlights after the cut.
Somewhere Between (USA)
In preparation for the arrival of her adopted daughter from China Ruby, Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton follows 4 Chinese adoptees to get a better sense of what her daughter may experience growing up. What results is a rather deep look into the complexities of issues that arise. Not surprisingly the girls find themselves needing to find a commonality with other like adoptees and torn between their very loving adopted families and the families that ‘abandoned’ them.
This Slamdance award-winning film follows regular people who don caps, masks and self-made/ bought weaponry ready to fight, defend and help keep the streets safe. A very human look into what motives these individuals who operate either by themselves or with their ‘Justice League’. You’ll raise your eyebrow, then start to admire the strength in their hearts.
Melissa – Mom and Me (ISRAEL)
An Israeli woman (Yael), with her camcorder captures her American friend (Melissa) backstage at the Tokyo strip club where they both worked. Laughing, crying, high on coke, Melissa is very open and candid about what her life has become. Seven years later, Yael is still haunted by Melissa, flies to the US to find her friend. The result of the emotional reunion charts their paths their lives have taken and healing the wounds of the past.
Family Portrait in Black and White (CANADA)
Olga Nenya, apart from her own children fosters 23 abandoned children, 16 of whom are bi-racial in the Ukraine, where 99% of the population are blue-eyed blonds. In her crowded ramshackled house, she definitely keeps the children, all whom are very grateful, on a tight leash. A very interesting portrait of a woman who loves to raise her children to be the best she thinks they should be.