Author: William Brownridge

Review: How To Re-Establish A Vodka Empire – Toronto Jewish Film Festival 2012

After finding his grandmother’s memoir, director Daniel Edelstyn decided to explore his background in the Ukraine. His grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, lived a rich and interesting life, but when Daniel Edelstyn reaches the Ukraine, he discovers that their family owned a vodka distillery, which drastically changes the direction of his documentary, How To Re-Establish A Vodka Empire . Screening at the 2012 Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the documentary follows Daniel and his partner Hilary Powell as they attempt to restore his family’s vodka distillery, become vodka importers and start a family of their own. What starts out as a simple...

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Review: Planet Yoga

If someone asked me to define yoga, my response would be that it’s a form of exercise involving stretching your body into impossibly difficult positions. In other words, something that I probably couldn’t do without hurting myself. Thanks to Planet Yoga , opening Friday, May 4, 2012 at AMC Yonge & Dundas, I have a greater understanding of yoga as not only a form of physical exercise, but one of a spiritual nature as well. Directed by Carlos Ferrand, Planet Yoga takes the viewer on a journey from yoga’s eastern beginnings to its impact in western culture and the...

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The journey towards a happy life: Tiffany Sudela-Junker and Jorge Torres-Torres on My Name is Faith

Currently screening at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, My Name is Faith screens once more at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm. Check the festival website for tickets and details. Need more Hot Docs? We’ve got lots!  Check it out...

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Review: A Bottle In The Gaza Sea – Toronto Jewish Film Festival 2012

The 20th annual  Toronto Jewish Film Festival  begins on a high note with the film A Bottle In The Gaza Sea , the story of two teenagers on different sides of a war they don’t fully understand. Directed by Thierry Binisti, the film opens just after a terrorist attack on a cafe in Jerusalem. Living very close to the cafe is Tal (Agathe Bonitzer), a young girl trying to understand how this could happen. She decides to place a message in a bottle and asks her brother to throw it into the sea by Gaza while he is on...

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Review: The Mystery Of Mazo de la Roche – Hot Docs 2012

The name Mazo de la Roche may not be very familiar to many people, but she holds a very important place in Canadian literature. At first an obscure writer, her novel Jalna catapulted her to international recognition, setting the stage for a 16 novel series. While her literary life was very public, her private life is a maze of half truths and carefully concealed details. Director Maya Gallus seeks to expose some of that private life with the documentary The Mystery Of Mazo de la Roche , screening at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. The true...

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Review: The Boxing Girls Of Kabul – Hot Docs 2012

Imagine for a moment that your favorite hobby, say, a sport that you enjoy playing, was the cause of you and your family receiving threats against your lives. Would you be able to continue enjoying that sport? That’s a large part of the documentary, The Boxing Girls Of Kabul , screening at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Directed by Ariel Nasr, the film follows three Afghan women as they train to become Olympic boxers. Coached by Sabir Sharifi, a former Olympic hopeful himself, the girls struggle with inadequate facilities, personal problems, and increasing threats against them...

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Review: Buzkashi! – Hot Docs 2012

Since ancient times, shepherds in Central Asia have faced attacks from wolves. To prevent these attacks, horsemen would chase and grab the wolves. This skill evolved into buzkashi, a sport where 200 horsemen attempt to capture and carry the carcass of a goat across the goal line. Premiering at this year’s  Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Buzkashi! follows the lives of Azam, Khurshed, and Askar, three men who compete in the sport of buzkashi. Each man represents a different perspective of the sport. Askar is an up and coming star of the sport, while Azam is a respected...

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