Author: William Brownridge

TJFF 2017 Review: 1945

In a small Hungarian town in August, 1945, two men dressed in black step off a train with two crates of cargo. They’re headed to town, and their presence is troubling the locals, who are unaware of what their intentions are. It sounds a little like a Western, and while 1945 certainly looks and feels like a film right out of that genre, it’s actually something very different. The men in black are Orthodox Jews, heading into a Hungarian town where every Jewish person has already been forcibly taken. This is why the townspeople are uncomfortable. As they prepare for...

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Hot Docs 2017 Review: Digilante

The rise of social media and the internet has allowed everyday citizens to capture and record events around them and share them with the world. Injustices have been exposed this way, and we frequently champion the people behind the lens as heroes, but Mike Nayna has a slightly different opinion. On a bus in Melbourne in 2012, Nayna was witness to a terrible incident of racism, which he recorded on his phone. Determined to show the participants just how horrible they were, he set out to make the video viral, but the results were something he never expected. The...

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Indie Tuesdays: Sensitive Parts

Dolore (Carolyn Yonge) is a young woman who has finally found herself in a great relationship. However, after some romantic setbacks, she’s left feeling a little insecure, as well as struggling with some anxiety. Things are looking up though, as her old friend Sinead (Jennifer Kobelt) is about to return to the city, and she can’t wait to introduce her boyfriend Riun (Sean Marshall Jr.) to her. What should be a great time for the three of them turns out to be a challenge for all Dolore’s relationships when Riun and Sinead realize that they slept together years ago....

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Review: The Circle

Based on the novel by Dave Eggers, and featuring the author as co-writer with director James Ponsoldt, it’s shocking to find that The Circle manages to hit every important moment of the book, but never manages to capture any of the emotional development and journey of the characters. The Circle stars Emma Watson as Mae, a young woman stuck in a crappy job and still living in her hometown. She gets a call from college friend Annie (Karen Gillan) telling her that she’s gotten her an interview at the Circle, a massive Google-like company that has their hands in...

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Hot Docs 2017 Review: Babe, I Hate to Go

For 30 years, Delroy has gone from his home in Jamaica to a tobacco field in Ontario as a migrant worker. He has to leave his family behind for 6 months at a time, which is difficult enough, but Delroy is also suffering with cancer, something he continues to maintain will be fine when it becomes obvious that it won’t. The short film Babe, I Hate to Go is an interesting look at the way in which we deal with illness, as well as the lengths some have to go to provide for their family. While a similar film...

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Review: The New Radical

Although you may not initially be familiar with the names Amir Taaki and Cody Wilson, you’ve probably heard of the things they’ve created. Taaki is responsible for the Bitcoin, while Wilson was the creator of Defense Distributed, which created the first 3D printable gun. Both men have a rather dim view of the world around them, seeking ways to bring about drastic change to governments and banking, which ultimately leaves them labelled as dangerous men. Director Adam Bhala Lough gives viewers a very in depth look into the lives and creations of both men with his documentary The New Radical. It...

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Hot Docs 2017 Review: Recruiting for Jihad

Islamist missionary Ubaydullah Hussain is the focus of the documentary Recruiting for Jihad, and the results are eye-opening and filled with sadness. Directed by Adel Khan Farooq and Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, Recruiting for Jihad follows Hussain over a three year period, allowing him to openly express his opinions about his faith and beliefs. Over the course of the film, the shocking events in Paris at Charlie Hebdo occur, and we begin to see that Hussain’s ideas fall much more in line with extremism than actual peace. At first, Hussain seems peaceful, rational, and accepting of the world around him. Of...

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