Hot Docs review: Dirty Tricks

Slick documentary about a cheating scandal in the world of competitive bridge collapses like a house of cards


DIRTY TRICKS (Daniel Sivan, Israel). 100 minutes. Rating: NN


Is the high-stakes world of competitive bridge just a cesspool of malfeasance, with teams cheating left and right to come out on top? That’s the impression you might get from producer/director Sivan’s slickly packaged true-crime doc about the cheating scandal that derailed Lotan Fisher, an Israeli prodigy whose incredible memory for numbers gave him an edge in any game… unless he was cheating the whole time, as former teammate Boye Brogeland claims.

Fisher claimed innocence, investigations were held, and things got a lot angrier and more complicated. The trouble is that Dirty Tricks doesn’t really try to make sense of the accusations and counter-accusations once they start flying back and forth, just adding each new revelation to the ever-accumulating pile.

A tighter hand in the editing – and maybe the willingness to ask follow-up questions – would surely have provided some clarity.

Available to watch here, with a filmmaker Q&A.

@normwilner

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