TCHOUPITOULAS (Bill Ross, Turner Ross, USA). 82 minutes. Subtitled. Rating: NNNNN
Pronounced "chop-it-TOOL-us," Bill and Turner Ross's film dazzles with its stunning meditation on childhood and poverty set against the culturally rich backdrop of New Orleans.
Two young African-American brothers, their best friend and their dog, Buttercup, lead the camera on an all-night trip through the city during Mardi Gras. Striking cinematography, killer music, local colour and intriguing asides allow the viewer to take in what it's like to be scared, excited and alone in New Orleans as children.
The kids might only be talking about Michael Jackson, hot dogs and what to do in case of a bear attack, but the Ross brothers have made an urban documentary that never feels sorry for its subjects unless it has to.
Apr 28, 9:45 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2; Apr 30, 4 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre; May 5, 10 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3.