Henry's Hot Docs Top 523 April 2018 / by Henry Gomes (author)
Hot Docs 2018 kicks off on Thursday, April 26. Here's Henry's Top 5 films to catch at this year's festival.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? tells the story of beloved children’s entertainer Fred Rogers. From his inauspicious television beginnings in his native Pittsburgh to becoming a household name in the United States, this documentary explores Rogers’ passion for delivering programming to children that addresses important issues and takes into account their questions, thoughts, and ideas. Featuring archival footage of Rogers himself, notable clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and interviews with family members and cast and crew from the show, this Morgan Neville directed documentary is equally amusing and heartfelt.
For most of his professional life, Albert Adria remained in the shadows as a development and pastry chef at his older brother Ferran’s legendary restaurant on the Catalonian coast elBulli. Constructing Albert revolves around the younger Adria’s quest to create his gastronomical footprint. The documentary follows Albert Adria through the ups and down of opening his ambitious slate of restaurants throughout Barcelona.
The Oslo Diaries (Co-Canadian and Israeli production)
For a brief window in the early 1990s, it appeared that the decades-long conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians was close to reaching a peaceful resolution. The Oslo Diaries is the story of the peace talks between the two sides as told by members of the respective delegations. Although the peace accords were never fulfilled and perhaps only sparked further violence, the personal accounts shared in the film from those at the talks reveal the power of these negotiations in turning once bitter enemies into friends with a common objective.
Gilda Radner was one of the breakout stars from the original cast of Saturday Night Live and inspired an entire generation of comedians that would follow in her footsteps and onto the stage of Studio 8H. Lisa D’Apolito’s Love, Gilda is a tender tribute to the tragic life of the beloved comedian. The film features interviews from Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler and is partly narrated from audio diaries recorded by Radner herself.
Brash and unapologetic, M.I.A has never been afraid to use her platform as a rapper to shed light on issues and subjects that deeply affect her, especially the plight of her fellow Sri Lankan Tamils. Using a variety of sources, Stephen Loveridge’s documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. captures the tension of being both a commercial artist and an outspoken activist that has come to define M.I.A.’s life and career.
Hot Docs runs April 26 to May 6
Henry Gomes is a recent graduate of Ryerson University’s MA Literatures of Modernity program. When he’s not watching and reviewing movies for CJRU’s Movie Mixtape, you can find him in the kitchen probably cooking something inspired by a favourite film or television show. Follow his food-related adventures at instagram.com.