The complexities of portraying Black lives onscreen

Michelle Obama in Becoming | Netflix

The COVID-19 pandemic has been called “the great equalizer,” but that could not be further from the truth. Coming in like a wrecking ball that unexpectedly broke off its chain, the pandemic has smashed through seemingly unbreakable societal walls. …

Everything is on the table with this year’s awards race

Robert in Boys State | AppleTV+

As the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) approaches, now is the time when pundits usually prepare their Oscar predictions. The September festival traditionally shapes the race and sets the frontrunners. Just look at previous TIFF People’s Choice Award winners like Green Book, 12 Years a Slave, Three Billboards, La…

A still from The Reason I Jump by Jerry Rothwell, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jerry Rothwell

Naoki Higashida’s ground-breaking book The Reason I Jump receives a documentary treatment that is equally revelatory. The Reason I Jump debuts in the World Documentary Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and, like Higashida’s landmark book, it provides a valuable window into the experiences of non-speaking autistic people. The…

Showing daily life in a region mostly represented through images of war


When I first arrived in Toronto from my home in Amman, Jordan, I was struck by how few people here had any understanding of what life was really like in the Middle East. I was in the MFA…

All photos courtesy of Metrograph

Marcus Lindeen’s latest documentary revisits a 1970s radical social experiment by way of a creative and revelatory re-enactment involving the surviving research participants. For 101 days in the summer of 1973, ten volunteer subjects and one principal researcher — Mexican-Spanish anthropologist Santiago Genovés — drifted by wind and current across…

Arabian leopards in Oman, as seen in Netflix’s Our Planet

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