Friday, 29 April 2011

Hot Doc Reviews: Beats, Love and Oil

Beats, Rhymes & Life, The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Sat, Apr 30 6:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

This film has one screening only and it has already gone RUSH, and while it's always worth a try to get into a rush screening, no need to fear if you don't as this film will have its theatrical release shortly. I'll do my full review then.

Love Arranged
Sat, Apr 30 6:44 PM, Cumberland 3
Mon, May 2 1:30 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Divya and Neha are modern Indian women who, with 30 closing in on them, have decided to add the arranged marriage route as another option to finding a husband. (Being 30 in India means that only divorced and widowed men will be available to them.) Party girl, Divya, is educated, fun, and loves her job as a wedding planner, but she can hardly hook up with someone at any of the weddings she is planning, and her outspoken, live-life-to-the-fullest attitude is attractive to men her age, but not to their families. The curvy, pet-loving Neha lives in an India where more and more men want a skinny, Bollywood-type woman (think Aishwarya Rai). The ball is in the man's court, with his family's wishes superceding any thoughts of a love-match. Divya and Neha are caught in a world where today's urban Indian woman is caught between the colliding forces of a culture that is allowing women to express themselves more fully, but which still demands that they behave in a traditional way in order to navigate the ancient rituals of marriage. The filmmaking is rudimentary, but the openness of these two women in exposing their vulnerabilities, is what makes this film worth watching. Kudos to them for allowing the cameras to follow their attempts to find love.

Wiebo's War
Sat, Apr 30 7:00 PM, Isabel Bader Theatre
Tue, May 3 7:15 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
Sat, May 7 7:00 PM, The Regent

Is Wiebo Ludwig an eco-terrorist, or a Christian man trying to defend his family and his property? What would you do if you finally decided to get away from society and raise your children in a beautiful stretch of Alberta farmland only to find out that after years of working on your property and having your family flourish that you only own the top 6 inches of your land, and that the Canadian government can buy and sell the subsurface mineral rights of that land without notifying you? Does miscarriages in your family and livestock give you the right to sabotage a business that legally bought the mineral rights from the Canadian government? A fascinating subject with the added intrigue of the RCMP, Christian values, and the mysterious absence of the media. Note: I will be interviewing director, David York on The More the Merrier Radio, Saturday, April 30, 1:00pm on CIUT 89.5 FM. You can listen live at

For all Hot Docs info please visit:
For tickets: 416-637-5150

1 comment:

Gutsy Ginnip said...

Just the name alone made me want to see this movie. Firstly, who names their child Wiebo? And secondly, why is he fighting the government?

Wiebo, an unwavering, devout, Christian fundamentalist soldier for his family, made me empathize with his plight. He moved to a remote area in Alberta, hoping to raise his family away from mainstream society but found himself in a battle with the oil and gas giants to keep his land, animals and family free from the effects of 'sour' gas. Wiebo impressed me with his intellect, wit and strength but by the end of the film he seemed emotionally weak. I suppose after decades of fighting, at some point, something/someone has to give. Poor Wiebo is relentless in fighting for his beliefs and I think myself and the audience felt compelled to fight with him too.

It is shameful these 'giants' have the power they do that even the government turns its back on its citizens to appease them.

Overall, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend Wiebo's War, as it was filmed without bias or presumption and was very well documented.

Yonette Nicola

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