HOT DOCS: CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL to May 1, various locations. $10, various passes $60, stu/srs free at daytime screenings, screenings after 11 pm free. 416-530-8105, www.hotdocs.ca. For complete Hot Docs schedule, see Indie & Rep Film, page 117.
HEYSEL '85: REQUIEM FOR A CUP FINAL (Lode Desmet, Belgium). 90 min. Sunday (May 1), 9:30 pm, Isabel Bader. Rating: NN
There's a cheesy movie-of-the-week quality to the fest's closing-night gala, a lengthy recounting of the tragedy at the 1985 European Cup finals in Brussels' Heysel Stadium. Before the match between Juventus and Liverpool, 39 spectators were trampled to death, yet the game went on two hours later.
Director Lode Desmet brings back some of the major and minor players - officials, friends of the deceased, a Liverpudlian who was convicted of manslaughter - to let them confront their ghosts, but somehow the film never pays off. There's little insight into grief or sports-related bloodlust. Instead, we get a primer for police and event organizers about how to manage rowdy crowds, and lots of now-middle-aged folks looking around an empty stadium, perplexed.