Darwin: it introduces us to a host of colourful characters in an isolated community in California’s Death Valley. Beautiful cinematography; touching ‘peeling of the onion’ personal stories. This is a wonderful film.
Keyhole: this is the Canadian director Guy Madden’s latest. It’s a dreamscape that combines 30s gangsters, a marriage breakdown, ghosts, a drowned woman who is still somehow partially alive, and Guy’s take on the story of Ulysses’ return. I think you either love Guy Madden or you hate him. I adored his movie “My Winnipeg” but this one was just too strange for me. I appreciate the brilliance of it; it just didn’t speak to me.
Peace Out: another Canadian film (Director Charles Wilkinson), that focusses on the development going on or planned for the Peace River area. The broader message is that no matter what the form of energy (liquefied natural gas, hydro, nuclear, etc.) there is always a cost to our planet, and it forces us think about what each of us is willing to do to reduce our energy consumption. I loved this film.
Smokin’ Fish: this is my absolute favourite film from this year’s festival. It’s about a Tlingit businessman from Juneau, Alaska who takes time out one summer to fish for and smoke salmon in the traditional way. It’s funny, thought provoking, tragic, and a MUST SEE.
Le Havre: this almost has a comic book or a fairy tale feel about it. It’s a story about a young African refugee and a bohemian turned shoe shiner who rescues him from the authorities and helps him reconnect with his mother. It’s sweet and optimistic and really enjoyable. I love happy endings.