Sep 17, 2021
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Hotdocs 2011: Healing the Wounded Soul

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Last week, North America’s largest documentary festival Hot Docs, presented an outstanding selection of over 190 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Among such an enormous selection were a few films that stood out with their message toward rebuilding the human spirit. In a time of global uncertainty, whether it’s political, geological or economic, such personal stories shine on with their unique sense of strength and dignity even in the darkest of situations.

BUCK: “Often, instead of helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” Buck Brannaman is a master horseman, raconteur and philosopher. A real life no-excuses cowboy on whom the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer was based on. The term ‘breaking a horse’, which refers to training a horse to take a rider, is not an empty term. Horse whispering refers to the technique of trainng the animal without violence or fear. Winner of an Audience Award at Sundance 2011, the documentary traces Buck’s life from his survival of a childhood filled with traumatic abuse to his current travels around the world sharing a hard-won wisdom about that’s often more about human relationships than about horses. Visually stunning, this feature documentary captures an audience like no other I’ve seen. It’ll make you laugh and it’ll tear your heart out. Bring tissue.

SUPERHEROES: “When we started I thought ‘Hey there were people running around in costumes fighting crime how great is that?’ But what I found was something much more than a great piece of pop culture, something so much more human – a deeply human story about people who often have very limited resources, but are real and ready to do anything they can to make the world a better place. It’s the direct opposite of apathy, in fact. I mean, why do these people do this, even if it means becoming victims of ridicule? It’s just so noble.” First-time filmmaker Michael Barnett explores the growing phenomenon of real-life superheroes, ordinary people – real humans with 9-to-5 jobs, rent to pay and families to answer to – who come home from work, put on their self-stitched super suits and take to the streets in the name of justice. In the U.S. alone there are over 700 real-life superheroes. What Barnett found was that every single one of them was motivated by something, whether it’s a need to heal from abuse or a deep desire to connect to the world around them. Wryly funny and humbly charming, this real-life Kick Ass shows us that helping people in any way that you can is a powerful way to heal yourself and the world you live in.

HELL AND BACK AGAIN: Danfung Dennis was a war photographer covering the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he found his photographs unable to shake people out of their apathy towards the wars and their impact on the soldiers. Customizing gear built for still photography, he returned to Afghanistan with the intention of conveying what he witnessed as honestly and truthfully as possible. The way he filmed, what he filmed, is no different from many of the other documentary about the wars, however the way it was edited together makes this an exceptionally emotive film. The documentary contains two overlapping narratives which are profoundly intercut – the life of a Marine at war on the front, and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home – giving us extraordinary insight into the Marine’s experience. Edited by both himself and award winning editor, Fiona Otway, the result is one of the great recent films about war, an intimately powerful story of soldiers in battle and at home, that does the impossible: it shakes people out of their indifference.

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Front Page, Industry News

Hotdocs 2011: Healing the Wounded Soul

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Last week, North America’s largest documentary festival Hot Docs, presented an outstanding selection of over 190 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Among such an enormous selection were a few films that stood out with their message toward rebuilding the human spirit. In a time of global uncertainty, whether it’s political, geological or economic, such personal stories shine on with their unique sense of strength and dignity even in the darkest of situations.

BUCK: “Often, instead of helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” Buck Brannaman is a master horseman, raconteur and philosopher. A real life no-excuses cowboy on whom the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer was based on. The term ‘breaking a horse’, which refers to training a horse to take a rider, is not an empty term. Horse whispering refers to the technique of trainng the animal without violence or fear. Winner of an Audience Award at Sundance 2011, the documentary traces Buck’s life from his survival of a childhood filled with traumatic abuse to his current travels around the world sharing a hard-won wisdom about that’s often more about human relationships than about horses. Visually stunning, this feature documentary captures an audience like no other I’ve seen. It’ll make you laugh and it’ll tear your heart out. Bring tissue.

SUPERHEROES: “When we started I thought ‘Hey there were people running around in costumes fighting crime how great is that?’ But what I found was something much more than a great piece of pop culture, something so much more human – a deeply human story about people who often have very limited resources, but are real and ready to do anything they can to make the world a better place. It’s the direct opposite of apathy, in fact. I mean, why do these people do this, even if it means becoming victims of ridicule? It’s just so noble.” First-time filmmaker Michael Barnett explores the growing phenomenon of real-life superheroes, ordinary people – real humans with 9-to-5 jobs, rent to pay and families to answer to – who come home from work, put on their self-stitched super suits and take to the streets in the name of justice. In the U.S. alone there are over 700 real-life superheroes. What Barnett found was that every single one of them was motivated by something, whether it’s a need to heal from abuse or a deep desire to connect to the world around them. Wryly funny and humbly charming, this real-life Kick Ass shows us that helping people in any way that you can is a powerful way to heal yourself and the world you live in.

HELL AND BACK AGAIN: Danfung Dennis was a war photographer covering the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he found his photographs unable to shake people out of their apathy towards the wars and their impact on the soldiers. Customizing gear built for still photography, he returned to Afghanistan with the intention of conveying what he witnessed as honestly and truthfully as possible. The way he filmed, what he filmed, is no different from many of the other documentary about the wars, however the way it was edited together makes this an exceptionally emotive film. The documentary contains two overlapping narratives which are profoundly intercut – the life of a Marine at war on the front, and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home – giving us extraordinary insight into the Marine’s experience. Edited by both himself and award winning editor, Fiona Otway, the result is one of the great recent films about war, an intimately powerful story of soldiers in battle and at home, that does the impossible: it shakes people out of their indifference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Hotdocs 2011: Healing the Wounded Soul

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Last week, North America’s largest documentary festival Hot Docs, presented an outstanding selection of over 190 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Among such an enormous selection were a few films that stood out with their message toward rebuilding the human spirit. In a time of global uncertainty, whether it’s political, geological or economic, such personal stories shine on with their unique sense of strength and dignity even in the darkest of situations.

BUCK: “Often, instead of helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” Buck Brannaman is a master horseman, raconteur and philosopher. A real life no-excuses cowboy on whom the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer was based on. The term ‘breaking a horse’, which refers to training a horse to take a rider, is not an empty term. Horse whispering refers to the technique of trainng the animal without violence or fear. Winner of an Audience Award at Sundance 2011, the documentary traces Buck’s life from his survival of a childhood filled with traumatic abuse to his current travels around the world sharing a hard-won wisdom about that’s often more about human relationships than about horses. Visually stunning, this feature documentary captures an audience like no other I’ve seen. It’ll make you laugh and it’ll tear your heart out. Bring tissue.

SUPERHEROES: “When we started I thought ‘Hey there were people running around in costumes fighting crime how great is that?’ But what I found was something much more than a great piece of pop culture, something so much more human – a deeply human story about people who often have very limited resources, but are real and ready to do anything they can to make the world a better place. It’s the direct opposite of apathy, in fact. I mean, why do these people do this, even if it means becoming victims of ridicule? It’s just so noble.” First-time filmmaker Michael Barnett explores the growing phenomenon of real-life superheroes, ordinary people – real humans with 9-to-5 jobs, rent to pay and families to answer to – who come home from work, put on their self-stitched super suits and take to the streets in the name of justice. In the U.S. alone there are over 700 real-life superheroes. What Barnett found was that every single one of them was motivated by something, whether it’s a need to heal from abuse or a deep desire to connect to the world around them. Wryly funny and humbly charming, this real-life Kick Ass shows us that helping people in any way that you can is a powerful way to heal yourself and the world you live in.

HELL AND BACK AGAIN: Danfung Dennis was a war photographer covering the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he found his photographs unable to shake people out of their apathy towards the wars and their impact on the soldiers. Customizing gear built for still photography, he returned to Afghanistan with the intention of conveying what he witnessed as honestly and truthfully as possible. The way he filmed, what he filmed, is no different from many of the other documentary about the wars, however the way it was edited together makes this an exceptionally emotive film. The documentary contains two overlapping narratives which are profoundly intercut – the life of a Marine at war on the front, and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home – giving us extraordinary insight into the Marine’s experience. Edited by both himself and award winning editor, Fiona Otway, the result is one of the great recent films about war, an intimately powerful story of soldiers in battle and at home, that does the impossible: it shakes people out of their indifference.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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