Hot Docs 2016 got underway Friday in TO with City of Gold and The Brainwashing of My Dad (which David Berry says can be summarized “Have you ever heard of Fox News?”) Also on offer this year are a total of 10 productions from the National Film Board. Here’s a small sample:
Angry Inuk (NFB/ Unikkaat Studios/ EyeSteelFilm), a feature length doc, is Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s challenge to myths about the sealing industry, detailing “how Inuit hunters in tiny remote communities in the high arctic are negatively affected by animal rights groups protesting against the Canadian east coast seal hunt that happens a thousand kilometres away.” It’s making its world premiere at the Festival.
Also in world premiere is Anjali Nayar’s Gun Runners, the story of two Kenyan warriors who take up marathon running. Born in Montreal, filmmaker/journalist Anjali Nayar is now based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Making its Canadian premiere is Zaynê Akyol’s first feature documentary, Gulîstan, Land of Roses. The garden-spot title contrasts with the subject matter — the struggles of Kurdish women who belong to the guerrilla movement of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. It’s not just about their people (the world’s largest ethnic group without a country) and resisting the terror of ISIS; it’s also about their rights as women.