Hot Docs Planner: Falling Trees, Social Justice, and Piping Hot Coffee
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Hot Docs Planner: Falling Trees, Social Justice, and Piping Hot Coffee

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One coffee, lethally hot, coming right up!


Ah, Tuesday. Another day, another newly formed Canadian government—and a whole new set of questions about what it means. But if there’s one thing we are sure of, it’s that Hot Docs 2011 continues today. And more documentaries means more documentary recommendations, coming at you, red hot, courtesy of Saira Peesker, Max Hartshorn, and John Semley. What are they? Well…
One of the hottest docs at Hot Docs this year is Susan Saladoff’s Hot Coffee ( 4 STARS ), a look at the culture of frivolous lawsuits based on the infamous case of a too-hot cup of McDonald’s coffee. There are plenty of zen jokes about what happens when a tree falls, but Marshall Curry’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front ( 4 STARS ) gets into the actual repercussions, by focusing on the radical activism of ELF organizer Daniel McGowan. Finally, Bill Weber and David Weissman’s We Were Here ( 4 STARS ) offers a moving look at the struggles of men suffering from AIDS in 1980s San Francisco, focusing on how the spread of the disease helped galvanize the gay community. It’s good. And a real tear-jerker.

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