This year, the SilverDocs Documentary Film Festival showcases 5 Canadian documentary films. Check the Silverdocs website on May 21st for times and buy tickets for your favourite Canadian films on May 28th.
ACT OF GOD (directed by Jennifer Baichwal)
"I can't accept that it happened for a reason, nor can I really accept that there is no reason. The only way to carry on is to be humble, and a little bit in awe of these things you can't really understand," observes James O'Reilly, contemplating a lightning strike. Accidents, chance, fate, and the elusive quest for understanding underpin Jennifer Baichwal's elegant and captivating new work, an exploration of the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. For the writer Paul Auster, involved in a strike at age 14, it deeply affected his life and art. "It opened up a whole realm of speculation that I've continued to live with ever since," says Auster. The improvisational guitarist Fred Frith underscores how accidents spark "the beginning of something." Indeed, as a visually and aurally seductive reverie to storytelling, our attempt to make sense of things, Act of God may be Baichwal's cinematic ars poetica.
CAT LADIES (directed by Christie Callan-Jones)
A makeshift shrine to a fallen furry companion. Whiskers tucked inside a box. Half of the bed kept warm by fluffy tails and padded paws. One thinks she's gone too far, taken too many in. Another says there's room for more. With humor and sensitivity, this vérité portrait follows the lives of four crazy "cat ladies," taking us beyond the stereotypes to explore the deeply felt emotions of loss and loneliness. While feline beauties inhabit every frame of this quirky yet remarkably human film, the real stories are the lives of the cat ladies themselves, each of whom, in her own way, is struggling to fill a void within her life.
PARTLY PRIVATE (directed by Danae Elon)
Partly Private begins as newly pregnant filmmaker Danae Elon explores her every option as an expecting parent. At a gigantic Baby Fair, she comes across a group who are not trying to sell any products; instead they use persuasive arguments to dissuade the visitors from doing something quite common in America: circumcision. Considering her Jewish background, circumcision was almost a given, but what if it were the wrong thing to do? How would her husband Philip, who insists circumcision be done to their son as it was done to him, relate to what she had just learned? Danae realizes that the first serious rift in their relationship could occur over this subject.
The search for help in making her decision leads Danae to the contrasting legacies of circumcision in America, England, Italy, and Turkey. When she reaches her homeland, Israel, she witnesses a ritual circumcision in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the supposed burial place of Abraham. She realizes that the true reluctance in her heart lies in the madness of religion and its political consequences. If she circumcises her second son, it has to be for a reason within her own heart, not one of rationalism or ideology. When all reason fails her, she will try to save her family.
As much romantic comedy as documentary, Partly Private is a meditation on relationships and our human obsessions, a story about the bondage of loyalties that drive our choices, and the compromises that are necessary to keep a family together.
FORTY MEN FOR THE YUKON (directed by Tony Massil)
In this observational documentary, Frank Erl and Geodie Dobson reflect on the decades they’ve spent in the wilds of the Yukon, and what attracted them to the isolation and independence of the North. Erl, 75 years old, is an active Gold miner and Dobson, 82 years old, is a proprietor of a recently closed bar.
THE REAL PLACE (directed by Cam Christiansen)
An animated poetic celebration of the life and spirit of playwright and librettist John Murrell.
Official Website: http://www.silverdocs.com
Added by Hawkes on May 4, 2009