Toronto 2020: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 45th Toronto International Film Festival

Dates:
September 10-19

About:
One of the world’s premier film events tackles the pandemic with a trimmed down schedule and a hybrid online and in-person model. Of its approximately 50 new features, 16 are nonfiction.

Among the offerings:
40 YEARS A PRISONER
Director: Tommy Oliver
Activist Mike Africa Jr fights to exonerate his parents, who were among nine members of the revolutionary group MOVE imprisoned after a violent police raid on their Philadelphia commune in 1978.

76 DAYS

76 DAYS
Director: Hao Wu, Anonymous
A raw and intimate chronicle of the struggles of patients and frontline medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan.

CITY HALL
Director: Frederick Wiseman
An epic look at Boston’s city government, covering racial justice, housing, climate action, and more.

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA
Director: Spike Lee
A document of the former Talking Heads frontman’s brilliant, timely 2019 Broadway show, based on his recent album and tour of the same name.

DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA
Director: Dieudo Hamadi
The director’s latest portrait of his native Congo, honoring survivors of his country’s Six-Day War in 2000.

ENEMIES OF THE STATE

ENEMIES OF THE STATE
Director: Sonia Kennebeck
An American family seeks refuge in Canada after their hacker son is targeted by the US government, in this bizarre story of secrets and lies.

FIREBALL: VISITORS FROM DARKER WORLDS
Director: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
A globe-trotting exploration of meteors that fell to Earth, both ancient and recent.

I AM GRETA
Director: Nathan Grossman
Greta Thunberg’s meteoric one-year rise from high-school climate strike organizer to inspiration for a global movement.

INCONVENIENT INDIAN
Director: Michelle Latimer
This affecting adaptation of Thomas King’s award-winning book explores the cultural colonization of Indigenous peoples in North America.

LIFT LIKE A GIRL

LIFT LIKE A GIRL
Director: Mayye Zayed
An intimate journey into the inner life of an aspiring weightlifter in Alexandria, Egypt.

MLK/FBI
Director: Sam Pollard
Based on newly declassified files, this resonant film explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.

THE NEW CORPORATION: THE UNFORTUNATELY NECESSARY SEQUEL
Director: Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott
This sequel to THE CORPORATION exposes how companies are desperately rebranding as socially responsible – and how that threatens democratic freedoms.

NO ORDINARY MAN
Director: Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt
The legacy of Billy Tipton, a 20th-century American jazz musician and trans icon, is brought to life by a diverse group of contemporary trans artists.

NOTTURNO

NOTTURNO
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
An immersive portrait of those trying to survive in the war-torn Middle East.

THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
Director: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
This beautiful, meditative documentary follows three elderly specialists, and their dogs, as they seek the prized delicacy and contend with poachers in the woods of Northern Italy.

THE WAY I SEE IT
Director: Dawn Porter
Former White House chief photographer Pete Souza reflects on the Obama presidency and what it stood for in this timely election-year documentary.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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