Hot Docs Daily: The Ghosts in our Machine, Buying Sex, After Tiller
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Hot Docs Daily: The Ghosts in our Machine, Buying Sex, After Tiller

One week gone, but Hot Docs is going strong!

After Tiller looks at the abortion debate  Image courtesy of Hot Docs

After Tiller looks at the abortion debate. Image courtesy of Hot Docs.

A week into Hot Docs 2013—my how time flies when you’re having a doc of a good time!—and today’s offerings keep up the pace.

Torontonian Liz Marshall’s The Ghosts in our Machine (4 Stars, 6:30 p.m. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema) is a complex and intricate look at animal-rights activism, through the (literal) lens of photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur. Eschewing sensational grim imagery—though there is some of that—the doc finds hope in an aspect of human behaviour that some of us never think twice about: eating animals.

Also playing today is Buying Sex (3stars, 6 p.m. TIFF Bell Lightbox). Focusing on a recent Ontario court ruling that legalized some aspects of prostitution, Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason’s film looks at both sides of the debate, allowing sex workers to speak in favour and against. It’s a balanced look at a complex issue, though it lags a little near the end.

A must-see at the festival rounds off the day: Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller (4 Stars, 9 p.m. Isabel Bader Theatre). After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, access to third-trimester abortions in the United States became incredibly limited. The documentary follows the four remaining doctors who still do the procedure. It tells their stories, professional and private. Set largely in abortion clinics, the film seeks to pull back the curtain on this highly political medical practice, taking it, and those who work in the field, out of the abstract.