Hot Docs Planner: Chocolate, Chimps, and the Daily News
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Hot Docs Planner: Chocolate, Chimps, and the Daily News

There may be easier ways to get into the carpool lane. But cuter? Not likely.

Man oh man, after a week’s worth, putting together these daily Hot Docs planners could get pretty laboured. And that would probably be the case this Thursday, were it not for the fact that Thursday is named after the Norse god Thor, and also that the new movie based on Marvel Comics’ Thor comes out tomorrow. Even though tomorrow is Friday (which is named after the popular American dining chain, T.G.I. Friday’s), it’s still pretty serendipitous, in a way. If you think about it. But forget about Thor for two seconds. Because there’s still plenty of good documentaries to see before Hot Docs rides off into the sunset for another year.
Everyone knows that chimps are adorable. And the only thing more adorable than a chimp is a chimp dressed in little boys’ clothes who thinks it’s people. But what’s not so cute is a chimp that is socialized in this way, only to be ripped out of the safety of his human caregivers and sent to a primate research facility. So goes James Marsh’s Project Nim ( 4 STARS ), bound to wind up one of the breakout films of Hot Docs 2011. In the jungles of Belize, the remaining Mayan people face socialization of a different sort. Rohan Fernando’s The Chocolate Farmer ( 4 STARS ) serves as an enlightening look about how Mayan sustenance farmers are responding to the pressures of global capitalism. And, finally, did you know that newspapers still exist? It’s true! Even if it’s only in the farthest reaches of Russia, where a local man and his wife put together their own account of daily affairs, using wood pulp and messy inks and dyes. Read (well, see and hear) all about it in Our Newspaper ( 4 STARS ).
For complete coverage, including capsule reviews of most feature films, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.