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TIFF needs more women

This year's festival shined a light on some of the best films directed by women. A film critic on why TIFF must go even further

José Teodoro

Bear with me while I state the obvious: No paucity is more appalling in cinema history than that of women in the role of director—the role most closely linked with creative power and authorial vision. For an industry typically associated with liberal ideals, the movies have remained tethered to a fiercely gynophobic paradigm for its […] More »
May-June 2017

New film follows a Toronto sexual assault trial, featuring an all-female crew

Behind the scenes of Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial

Leah Lalich@LeahLalich

The same day the Jian Ghomeshi trial began at Toronto’s Old City Hall, another sexual assault trial was taking place just one floor above. Kelly Showker’s upcoming documentary film, Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial, follows York University PhD student Mandi Gray as she settles her human rights case with the university, following […] More »
March-April 2017

New film takes a much-needed glance into Canada’s uncomfortable past with racism and slavery

An inside look at Howard J. Davis's C'est Moi

Melissa Gonik

She strolls softly through a deserted modern-day Montreal. Her outfit—and the way she seems to float through the streets—indicate her lack of connection to this modern scene. This is Marie-Josèphe Angélique, a slave “owned” by François Poulin of Montreal in the early 1730s. Canadian filmmaker Howard J. Davis uses his film C’est Moi as an […] More »
January-February 2017

Exploring bilingualism and English-speaking privilege at a Montreal movie theatre

What columnist andrea bennett learned from watching a Xavier Dolan film as a native English speaker—and what Anglophones take for granted

andrea bennett@akkabah

Still from C’est juste la fin du monde, via YouTube. One Sunday last November, my friend Megan and I met at a French-language movie theatre in Rosemont–La Petite Patrie in Montreal. I stood in line for matinee tickets, and then Megan and I bought popcorn. I ordered maïs soufflé, un regulier; the worker at the counter […] More »
November-December 2016

Hollywood’s problem with Latinx representation

Maid. Drug dealer. Vixen. Popular shows and movies are filled with harmful Latinx tropes. Nadya Sarah Domingo examines the damaging effects of our homogenous media culture

Nadya Sarah Domingo@NadyaWithAWhy

A couple of years ago, a stranger approached me while I was volunteering at a film festival in Toronto. She motioned to a group of friends standing nearby. They placed a bet on my ethnicity, she explained, and wanted to know where I was from. I smiled and patiently regurgitated my now-rehearsed response: I was […] More »
November-December 2016

New documentary explores the oppressive realities of capitalism from within a Montreal neighbourhood

Stone Story follows Martin Stone between his 70th and 71st years

andrea bennett@akkabah

We meet Martin Stone on the eve of his 70th birthday: grey hair, goofy smile, his facial expressions vacillating between a childish joy and a more distant sadness. Originally from the U.S., he now shares a dirt-cheap Mile End apartment with a revolving cast of roommates in Montreal. In the mid-1960s, Stone left a lucrative ad […] More »
November-December 2016

New documentary exposes Canada’s abusive migrant labour program

Min Sook Lee's Migrant Dreams delves into the Temporary Foreign Worker Program's precarious issues

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

If you look at a map of southern Ontario, Leamington seems no more remarkable than the other small towns that dot Lake Erie’s coastline. Yet, in Min Sook Lee’s documentary Migrant Dreams, the 30,000-population town becomes the setting of a much bigger issue. Leamington has the largest concentration of greenhouses in North America. And, thanks to […] More »

Jennifer Aniston gives birth to teenager!

Deconstructing the media's obsession with Hollywood celebrity pregnancies—starting with none other than Jennifer Aniston

Lisa Whittington-Hill

Sixteen. That’s the number of years tabloid magazines have spent declaring Jennifer Aniston pregnant. Rumours started gestating while the actress was still married to Brad Pitt, but really ramped up post-Pitt. Aniston has been “pregnant and alone,” “pregnant with twins,” “pregnant with John Mayer’s baby”—your body is not a wonderland when that happens—and a “pregnant […] More »

Gender Block: Jurassic World

Hillary Di Menna

I didn’t exactly expect Jurassic World  to be feminist savvy—it’s largely about capitalizing on nostalgia and making a bunch of dinosaurs run around. Dinosaurs, after all, are big bucks: as of July 26 the film has grossed $1,542,568,684 worldwide. They’re also very cool and I’ll admit I saw the movie twice. Even if the franchise […] More »
July-August 2015

Progressive porn

Why is sexy still so synonymous with white? Today’s independent porn industry challenges the sex-positive movement to break barriers and make more space for women of colour

Justine Ponomareff

It’s mid-April and Toronto’s Bloor Cinema is packed—so much so that it’s difficult to find two seats together. The lights dim around us and an announcer takes the stage. “There’s going to be naked people on screen, having sex,” she roars, punctuating her theatrical warning with a “who’da thunk” scoff. Ripples of laughter and cheers […] More »
January-February 2015

Through A New Lens

Michelle Kay

Documentarian Nayani Thiyagarajah uses curiousity and compassion to confront shadeism in racialized communities ON A GREY NOVEMBER DAY IN TORONTO, with the sun nowhere in sight and an irritating mix of rain and snow outside, Tamil-Canadian filmmaker and artist Nayani Thiyagarajah is in good spirits—despite being bogged down by a head cold. In between sniffles […] More »