We love the DOXA Documentary Film Festival here at the Straight, and we're big fans of programming director Selina Crammond, within whom we find the rare triple virtues of excellent taste, right-on politics, and faultless time-keeping.
Following the postponement of the festival's 2020 edition, announced yesterday, we asked Crammond for a few good docs to watch at home. We gather that things at the DOXA office are a little chaotic right now, but she still made the time to compile a list and provide the comments below, because that's how much Selina Crammond and DOXA love you. Enjoy!
Dislocation Blues "Filmmaker, artist and curator Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians), currently based in Vancouver, has recently made his short films available for free on his website. Subverting traditional ethnographic gaze, Hopinka's films explore themes of mythology, language, and Indigenous identity through thoughtful poetic imagery and rich soundscapes. One of my favourites is 'Dislocation Blues', featuring interviews with activists who spent time at Standing Rock Camp." Watch it here.
Field of Vision "Field of Vision is a visual journalism unit founded by Laura Poitras, who’s 2016 film Citizenfour won an Oscar for best documentary. Field of Vision commissions filmmaker-driven creative documentaries that shed a light of a vast array of urgent global political, economic, and technological issues. Every film on this website is worth viewing, and we’ve even screened several at DOXA in the past."
Our Nixon "Penny Lane, a DOXA favourite, has made several of her films available online. They are all worth a watch, but one of my all time favourites is the all-archival film she crafted using super-8 footage captured by three of Nixon’s right hand men: H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin. There’s something timelessly gleeful about the use of Tracy Ullman’s cover of Kirsty MacColl 'They Don't Know', set against the suits in Washington pre-Watergate."
Negativepeg Matthew Rankin has defined his own unique brand of twisted Canadiana. His most recent film and first debut feature, The Twentieth Century, premiered at TIFF where it won Best Canadian First Feature Film Award. But before he was making feature-length nightmares inspired by Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s diary, he crafted Negativepeg (2010). Part cancon rock doc, part Errol Morris dramatization), this one is for my fellow Manitobans.
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up By now I’m hoping all Canadians have seen Tasha Hubbard’s very necessary nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, the winner of our 2019 Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Documentary. If not, a shorter version of the original is now available on CBC Gem.