Hot Docs: Dickheads, Despair, and Bullying
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Hot Docs: Dickheads, Despair, and Bullying

Behold Richard Kuchera: asshole.

They call Wednesday “humpday” because it’s the middle of the week. So like if you were to chart the days of the week on a graph that ascends and then descends, Wednesday would be right at the peak, or “hump,” of that chart. And you know what else? Well, this Wednesday, May 4, 2011, is pretty-much the humpday of Hot Docs 2011. Spooky, eh? It’s like that movie The Number 23 except less interesting, somehow. To help you get over the hump, we’ve got some cherry Hot Docs picks for you.
One of our favourite films at Hot Docs 2011 is Joshua Neale’s exceptionally entertaining Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard ( 4 1/2 STARS ), which tracks the quest of one recovering alcoholic to make amends with the many, many people he’s wronged through a lifetime of professional-grade prickishness. And keeping with the subject of people who are dicks, you know who aren’t very nice? Bullies. Our theory, in fact, is that bullies, while projecting an air of rugged self-confidence, are actually sad inside, which is precisely why they bully in the first place. But that’s just us. Lee Hirsch’s The Bully Project ( 31/2 STARS ) doesn’t offer any comprehensive theory for why people bully, but it is a moving look at the fallout. Make sure to bring a hankie. And if you really like to feel miserable, another great (in a harrowing, makes-you-feel-unclean kind of way) doc is Pawel Kloc’s debut Phnom Pehn Lullaby ( 31/2 STARS ), which is bound to give you second thoughts about taking one of those holidays in Cambodia that you keep hearing about.
For complete coverage, including capsule reviews of most feature films, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.