HOT DOCS: Imagining Emanuel & Family Portrait in Black and White

Imagining Emanuel by Thomas A Østbye

“Imagining Emanuel” by Thomas A Østbye

I usually leave documentaries hopeful no matter how bleak the subject matter is but this movie left me lost. The story of Emanuel is desolate. In between the borders of identity Emanuel falls through the cracks. It is like a nightmare. It is a nightmare. One person’s hell. We bear witness to a man trying to find a way to keep his soul intact. In the film (perhaps because of the film) he manages to keep whole despite this tragic set of circumstances.

More information on Imagining Emanuel.

Family Portrait in Black and White by Julia Ivanova

“Family Portrait in Black and White” by Julia Ivanova

A stunning documentary with fantastic cinematography! The vibrancy creates a warmth that is fitting for the story being told – a family of stitched together because of colour against a backdrop of white Ukraine. But in a bid to be her adopted children’s savior the mother stops seeing her children as individuals. She picks favourites and casts others out; divides in an attempt to conquer ultimately shredding the shelter she created for them.

Full of shades of gray, this story is not a straightforward one.

More information on Family Portrait in Black and White.

HOT DOCS runs April 26 – May 6
FYI – Torontonians take HOT DOCS seriously so buy early! I spent many a moment in the rush line last year to get nowhere. Better plan in place fo 2012!

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