The Film Corner's 10 Best Feature Films at Hot Docs 2014 (in alphabetical order)
By Greg Klymkiw
ART AND CRAFT: The stuff movies (and by extension, dreams) are made of. This is an engaging portrait of an artist as an old man, but not just any garden variety artist, but a sweet, committed, meticulous and gentle craftsman of forgeries.
THE BOY FROM GEITA: The legendary cinematographer and filmmaker Vic Sarin explores the dark side of the human spirit (the murder of albinos in Tanzania) which ultimately yields a tale of profound and deep compassion.
THE CONDEMNED: There have been many documentaries about prison life, but almost none of them are produced with the kind of eye for cinematic artistry this portrait of incarceration in Russia's Taiga is imbued with.
THE ENGINEER: A forensic criminologist tracks down and exhumes bodies of the disappeared in El Salvador's gang wars. The bravery and fortitude of its filmmakers yield a superbly wrought picture focusing on America's heinous legacy.
GIUSEPPE MAKES A MOVIE: Ed Wood + John Waters = Giuseppe Andrews. Detroit Rock City director Adam Rifkin captures the workings of a genuine underground filmmaker.
LOVE ME: The world of mail-order brides in Ukraine is the focus of Jonathon Narducci's thorough and affecting film that focuses on a group of Western men looking for love. Narducci does so with impeccable skill and movie-making savvy.
PINE RIDGE: The Hearts and Minds that soar above Wounded Knee are the focus of this expert blend of Direct Cinema with poetic dollops of Cinéma vérité which explores daily life of the youth of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
THE SECRET TRIAL 5: The legacy of Canada's thinly-veiled fascists is revealed in this chilling, important documentary detailing the unconstitutional incarceration of men because of the colour of their skin.
UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL: Kitty Green's brave, inspiring and often disturbing look at the patriarchy of Ukraine and a group of young women who comprise "Femen", a group of feminist activists with an unorthodox approach to protest.
WHITEY: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER: One of the most harrowing crime docs ever made: a compulsive, expertly unfurled narrative of brutal Boston gangster Whitey Bulger.