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After the Apocalypse
Since it's simply not physically possible to stay on top of Hot Docs - seriously, even those of us who get a month's head start with press screenings and a pile of DVDs wind up falling behind by this point in the festival - I'm going to assume you're doing the same thing I am right now, running around the city trying to see whatever you can. Here are a few of the titles that are worth waiting in a rush line to see.
Now, if you're reading this before 4 pm on Friday, head to the Cumberland 3 for Robert Nugent's Memoirs Of A Plague, an intriguing Australian film examining humanity's relationship to the locust. Then hang around until 7:15 pm for After The Apocalypse, a grim but powerful look at the genetic damage wrought by Russian nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. After that, take your pick of musical subjects with Bob And The Monster (9:30 pm, Cumberland 3), about the harrowing but redemptive journey of Thelonius Monster frontman Bob Forrest, or Ron Sexsmith: Love Shines (9:45 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre), a less intense but equally complex study of the insecure singer-songwriter.
Saturday's highlights include Beauty Day (4:15 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre), the story of St. Catharines cable superstar Cap'n Video; Weibo's War (Saturday, 7 pm, Regent), David York's thorny study of an environmental activist with a particularly problematic personal life, and The Guantanamo Trap (9:30 pm, Regent), a look at the moral taint of Gitmo. If that last one sounds a little too grim, you can head back downtown for Marija's Own (9:15 pm, Innis Town Hall), a charming Croatian project about three sisters holding a wake for their grandmother six years after her death.
The festival starts its last day Sunday with 11 am screenings of two of this year's prize-winning films - titles to be announced, obviously - at the Isabel Bader Theatre and the ROM. You'll also have a last chance to see Love Shines (4 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2), Mighty Jerome (4:30 pm, Revue Cinema), Gnarr (6 pm, Cumberland 2) and Becoming Chaz (6:45 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2).
The festival announces its awards at a gala reception Friday night; check back here for our rundown of the winners.