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I tend to categorize my favourite documentaries by the emotions they trigger: Some docs make me cheer, some make me yell, others make me laugh, or cry. Sometimes it's, "OMG, did that really happen?!" And sometimes it's just about sitting back and enjoying pure beauty. And beyond the pure entertainment value, documentaries are a powerful medium to change the world: Exposing injustice and abuse to an international audience, or simply showing us what we need to understand ourselves, others and our physical world better, and in so doing become better people. Whatever the case may be, Hot Docs is always a rich opportunity to see the world through other people's eyes and hear their stories from all over the world: 50+ films for me over 10 fascinating days every spring in Toronto. #HotDocs16

Philip's Final #HotDocs16 Top 10 List:
1. Tower (A+)
2. Life, Animated (A+)
3. Random Acts of Legacy (A+)
4. Under the Sun (A+)
5. Operation Avalanche (A)
6. Where is Rocky II? (A)
7. Natural Disorder (A)
8. Tickled (A)
9. The Land of the Enlightened (A)
10. How to Build a Time Machine (A)

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Where is Rocky II?
Sunday, May 8, 6:30 pm, TBLB #2
What a great way to end off the festival! This film is in the "fake fiction" style. The filmmaker follows a private detective in search of a piece of art—a replica of a rock—that was hidden in the Mojave Desert in 1979, and packages it with all the stylistic elements of a big budget Hollywood film of that detective genre. Innovative fun. (A) #HotDocs16 #whereisrockyII

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The Apology
Sunday, May 8, 12:45 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre

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Unlocking the Cage
Sunday, May 8, 10:00 am, TBLB #1
Lawyers argue that certain mammals (great apes, elephants and cetaceans) should have the right to protection from unwarranted imprisonment (Habeas Corpus) in this fascinating law procedural documentary. Directors Hegedus and Pennebaker really know how to make a doc! (A) #HotDocs16 #unlockingthecage

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Saturday, May 7, 9:00 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
This film tears your heard apart while it builds your faith in the human spirit, as we watch NFL linebacker Steve Gleason's body weaken due to ALS but his commitment to share his life with his new-born son grow. Truly inspiring. At HotDocs I get spoiled with the range of documentaries that combine compelling stories with creativity and artistry in how they tell their stories on film; the style of this film is straightforward, but that doesn't detract from its power. (A-) #HotDocs16 #gleasonfilm

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The Man who Saw Too Much
Saturday, May 7, 12:45 pm, Hart House Theatre
Enrique Metinides' father gave him a camera when he was little. He had a childhood fascination in car wrecks and started taking photos of them, and through circumstances his photos actually started appearing, credited, in Mexico City newspaper when he was only a schoolboy. That was the start of a career as a crime photographer, in a city and country where these photos need to be as lurid as possible to make the front page. His struggle to maintain his humanity while spending decades focusing his camera on the most violent forms of death make watching this film a dark but fascinating experience. (B+) #HotDocs16 #themanwhosawtoomuch

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Aida's Secrets
Saturday, May 7, 10:45 am, TBLB #3
I had no idea about the camps that were set up in Europe for displaced persons after WW2, so this film was an eye-opener. The complexities of the life realities that faced one woman in the Bergen Belsen DP camp are explored in this film, and the circuitous path taken to uncover them, and the limits to what can be revealed, make this film both both a fascinating and frustrating piece of detective work. (A-) #HotDocs16
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