Hot Swedish Documentary Films at Hot Docs Film Festival 2013 in Toronto

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APRIL 25TH – MAY 5TH 2013
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market held in Toronto. Each year, the Festival presents a selection of more than 180 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and around the globe. This year, they are featuring several interesting documentary films either about Sweden or by Swedish producers/directors.

For more information, see the following link:
Hot Docs list of Swedish films

I’m excited to see some of these. I have listed them below with a brief synopsis:
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Forest of the Dancing Spririt

The Yaka/Mbendjele tribe lives in one of the world’s last untouched rainforests, deep in the mists of the Congo Basin. After centuries of minimal contact with Westerners, their world is about to change: Congo’s largest logging company is razing the forest. Award-winning filmmaker Linda Vastrik lived among this generous people for several years, respectfully observing their fascinating way of life. Far from a stoic meditation on a disappearing civilization, each lush frame of this visual love letter pours out with humour, drama and a natural beauty made so tangible, you almost feel the forest’s leaves against your skin. The film’s layered sound whispers fantastical creation myths, enticing the viewer to join in vibrant storytelling circles. All the while, personal heartbreaks, unexpected masters and private industry stalk a proud community. Clever and fresh, this stunningly crafted study captures wonder that’s likely not long for this world. Myrocia Watamaniuk

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Future My Love
In the wake of yet another financial collapse, shouldn’t we look towards a drastically different social and economic model? One that would eradicate suffering, poverty and war rather than one that creates pain? Director Maja Borg, fresh with heartache after the loss of a first love, draws a parallel between the world’s economic system and human relationships with a dual narrative in this visionary documentary. Shot in both poetic 8mm black and white, and vibrant HD colour, the last days of love are reconstructed as we follow Borg on a road trip to the future. The Venus Project in Florida is the utopian home of 95-year-old futurist Jacque Fresco. Fresco’s work conceptualizes radical overhauls of technology and society, believing that it’s possible to create a self-sustaining resource-based economy rather than a monetary one. Future My Love shows us that as civilizations fall and lovers move apart, we can create as much pleasure as we can create pain. Lynne Crocker

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TBP AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard
Three reluctant young vigilantes, founders of the world’s largest file sharing site, the Pirate Bay, find themselves entangled in a bitter battle with Hollywood. At stake: the future of the Internet. The legal question is how governments should deal with copyright in the Internet age. The practical one is whether Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the three co-defendants in this copyright infringement lawsuit, should pay millions of dollars in penalties and even be sent to jail. Change is inevitable—using websites like the Pirate Bay, millions of Internet users exchange movies every day without paying producers and distributors their share. But for now Hollywood is determined to stop them. This fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the controversial court case explores the issues a new generation of media consumers has brought into question: free Internet, free speech and the future of creativity in the digital age.

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Second Class

Edvardus and Arturas travel by ferry from Lithuania to northern Sweden for work. On board, they meet a Lithuanian-Swedish filmmaking team. The last thing they want is to appear on film, for fear of perpetuating media stereotypes of migrant labourers as pitiable or guilty of stealing jobs. These men don’t want to be seen or heard complaining, wanting, struggling. They hope to make enough money for a car, an apartment, to start a family, and don’t want to rock the boat. But the filmmakers erode the men’s protective machismo and tease out stories about their home lives and how they feel about being considered cheap labour. The men share their vulnerabilities and vanities in ways that only come from genuine trust. Second Class is a patient character study of rare intimacy that distils the tension between its male subjects and female filmmakers into equal parts sexy chase and frustrating power struggle. Angie Driscoll

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Coffee Time
A quartet of refined elderly ladies gets together for a good ol’ coffee klatch. Neatly dressed in houndstooth and pearls, they sip from elegant china and nibble on sweet cakes while discussing Viagra, cock rings, orgasms and quickies. Nothing’s off the table as they reminisce about the past and revel in the sexual revolution that’s come up around them, empowering their pleasure well into their twilight years. Angie Driscoll

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Ballerina
Inspired by world-famous Swedish ballerina Elsa Marianne von Rosen’s autobiography, filmmaker Maja Friis uses beautifully choreographed contemporary dance scenes to reveal the dancer’s impossible balancing act between consuming human love and an all-encompassing artistic passion. Connecting unique archival material and new recordings of the now 89-year-old legend, the film portrays dance as a lover, a partner, a support and a shadow. Ballerina is an essential artist’s portrait that speaks to and for itself, using movement as an expression of narrative. Von Rosen’s career becomes the choreography, her love life a body of work, and the body itself its storyteller. Brilliantly assured, this poetic film gives insight into von Rosen’s deeply passionate relationship with dancing as a way of life and a way of being. It’s a real life pas de deux that both breaks the heart and makes it beat faster. Angie Driscoll

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Categories: Swedish Culture

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