Hot Docs Planner: Beats, Battles, and Parks
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Hot Docs Planner: Beats, Battles, and Parks

Some sort of group called something-or-other does such-and-such on stage during their reunion tour in 2000-and-whenever.

Hickory dickory doc…the mouse ran up the…ah, forget it, we’re rotten with “doc” puns. Don’t blame us. We’re really embarrassed. Humiliated to the point of collar-tugging, even. Is it hot in here is it just the docs? Eh? No good? Well, whatever. We don’t pay Ryan West and Kiva Reardon and John Semley to cook up clever puns, we pay them to review documentaries. And that’s just what they did, wiseacre.
In all humourlessness, though. Today is Saturday. Or as we call it “Doc”…urday. Which also doesn’t work. But we don’t care! Because there’s a whole mess of good movies screening as part of Hot Docs 2011 today. Just for you! First up is American filmmaker [sic] Michael Rapaport’s impressively decent Tribe Called Quest doc, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest ( 4 STARS ). (If you thought Michael Rapaport was good on Boston Public, you should see him competently helm a documentary!) On a more political tip (to borrow some hip-hop slang), Laura Fairrie serves up a tense political doc with The Battle for Barking
( 4 STARS ), which looks at the hyper-right wing BNP party’s attempt to take control of the titular riding (being Barking, not battle). And speaking of battles, Albertan Christian fundamentalist Wiebo Ludwig has been waging one for decades against the Canadian oil and gas industry. David York breaks down the conflict elegantly in Wiebo’s War ( 4 STARS ).
If all this tension just stresses you out, then take in the extremely ambitious celebration of Canada’s national parks, The National Parks Project ( 4 STARS ), which brings together more Canadian talent than Broken Social Scene, Kids in the Hall, Phi Beta Gamma’s annual beer pong tournament, and Alpha Flight put together.
For complete festival coverage, including capsule reviews of most feature films, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.