Cadejo Blanco – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Waking to find the disappearance of her sister, Sarita (Karen Martínez) travels to the coastal town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Desperate for answers, Sarita dives headfirst into Puerto Barrios’ gang circle, risking her life and finding her courage along the way. From the outset, Cadejo Blanco is a “simple” tale about a woman’s determination to …

Farha – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Based on true events. Set in 1948 Palestine, Farha tells the story of a 14-year-old girl (Karam Taher) whose dreams of receiving a formal education are taken away from her due to the start of what would come to be known as the Nakba (the catastrophe). Confined to a small supply room, Farha watches as …

Paka (River of Blood) – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Only blood can quench its thirst. Set in India, Paka tells the tale of two families, torn apart by hatred and feuding over the past, a love set to bring them together, and a river that connects them all. On the eve of their marriage, Anna (Vinitha Koshy) and Johnny (Basil Paulose) find themselves struggling …

You Are Not My Mother – Film Review | TIFF ’21

With its strong attention to female filmmakers this year, TIFF offers us Kate Dolan’s feature debut ‘You Are Not My Mother’. An Irish psychological horror film with a twist steeped in lore. Char (Hazel Doupe) lives in a Dublin housing estate with her grandmother, father and her troubled mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken). The woman is …

The Starling – Film Review | TIFF ’21

The process of grieving is a thankful subject for a drama and for any actor to sink their teeth in. But does Theodore Melfi’s ‘The Starling’ have anything fresh to add? Lilly (Melissa McCarthy) and Jack (Chris O’Dowd) are set for a happy life when tragedy strikes. Reeling from the loss of their baby, both …

Zalava – Film Review | TIFF ’21

While investigating a town with a shared belief in demonic possession, military sergeant Massoud’s (Navid Pourfaraj) beliefs are challenged by the zealous exorcist, Amardan (Pouria Rahimi Sam). Demonic possession films are fairly commonplace in the world of horror and thrillers. Many of them as derivative as the next. More often than not, this type of …

The Guilty – Film Review | TIFF’21

Huis-clos thrillers aren’t the easiest to pull off. But when you want to make a movie during a pandemic, it might be your best bet of getting something made. Antoine Fuqua takes a stab at remaking the Danish movie ‘Den Skyldige’ and comes out mostly unscathed. Officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) has issues. Plenty of …

Violet – Film Review | TIFF’21

Depending on our age, we all know Justine Bateman from somewhere. Whether it be next to Michael J. Fox in ‘Family Ties’ or guest starring in everything from ‘Desperate Housewives’ to ‘Arrested Development’. Turns out this familiar face also has a knack for filmmaking, as her feature film debut ‘Violet’ is released to the world. …

As In Heaven – Film Review | TIFF ’21

As a cis-gender male, I feel somewhat uncomfortable reviewing a film that so obviously deals with the plight of women. But to simply reduce Tea Lindeburg’s debut feature to a feminist pamflet would be doing it a grave disservice. Lise (Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl), a teenage girl growing up among her many siblings on a …