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culture

Hot Docs Daily: Detropia, One Day After Peace, GLOW

What to see today at Hot Docs.

Detropia sees the directors of Jesus Camp turn their lens on Detroit, a city in dire need of economic salvation.

With Detropia (), from Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Hot Docs schedulers have saved one of the fest’s best for last. Fresh from an award-winning world premiere at Sundance, the Jesus Camp co-directors’ latest makes its international debut this evening (5:45 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema) in its one and only Hot Docs presentation. Unsurprisingly, all advance tickets have sold, but we reckon a spell in the rush line will be worth your while.

A dystopian vision of urban decay, Detropia surveys the devastating fallout of Detroit’s economic collapse. Once a gleaming symbol of the American dream, the city has lost half of its manufacturing jobs in the last decade, and, with them, nearly a million residents. In something of a departure from their previous projects, Grady and Ewing adopt an impressionistic style that appeals as much to the senses as to the intellect, and succeed in capturing both the haunting beauty of the desolate metropolis and the desperation of those that remain.

Today’s second recommendation is world-premiere selection One Day After Peace (), which will screen for a third and final time this afternoon (4 p.m., the ROM Theatre). In this powerful, refreshingly non-partisan look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, filmmakers Erez Luafer and Miri Laufer profile Robi Damelin, a South African–born Israeli who, in 2002, lost her son to the bullet of a Palestinian sniper. Rather than seek retribution, Damelin returns to her homeland to meet with participants in its post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Her hope is to better understand the nature of forgiveness, and, potentially, to apply the Committee’s lessons to her personal struggle.

If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, we suggest you head to the Regent to catch the fest’s final screening of GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (, 6:30 p.m.). Director Brett Whitcomb’s nostalgic tribute revisits GLOW’s late-’80s glory days, when the titular troupe of lady luchadores shot to cult stardom thanks to their knack for breaking hearts and backs alike. Combining present-day interviews with archival clips of spandex-and-spangles action, Whitcomb provides a warm and illuminating account of a largely forgotten kitsch curiosity.

For our full index of festival reviews, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.

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