Saturday at Hot Docs
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(April 29, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Apologies for the late post, but luckily the first Canadian documentary to screen today is Subterranean and it is scheduled for this afternoon. A second feature, Someone Lives Here screens at 5:30.
I like Subterranean because the people behind it don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, despite the potential for serious consequences should something go very wrong deep in some cave somewhere in Canada. The official synopsis begins with, “Two gritty teams of hobbyist cavers are poised to break records for the longest and deepest caves in Canada. With few places on Earth left to discover, caving may be the last remaining activity of true exploration.” But the 86-minute film’s director says, “There is a big argument to be made against caving. It’s dangerous, wet, cold and muddy. There are no big rewards like beautiful mountain views or an exhilarating ski descent after a well-deserved Instagram photo on the summit.” François-Xavier de Ruydts also states, “Cavers like to say that the best part of caving is when you get out of the cave” He is usually referred to as “FX.” In 2015, he was named by the Canadian Geographic Society one of Canada’s 100 greatest explorers. If you have issues with confined spaces some scenes in this film might make you uncomfortable.
April 29 – 3:30PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox
May 3 – 8:45PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox
Someone Lives Here is a 75-minute documentary from director Zack Russell. He has mostly worked in series television and made a couple of short films including his 2015 short She Stoops to Conquer, which picked up a Best Live Action Short Drama at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. The topic of Someone Lives Here is homelessness and the subject is one Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter who builds tiny insulated shelters. Naturally, the people who are supposed to be dealing with this ongoing, urgent issue can’t allow this to continue and Seivwright is hit with a cease and desist order. Set during one of Toronto’s brutal winters, the struggle with the city is defined by the filmmakers as a “David and Goliath story.” Someone Lives Here is narrated by Taka, one of the people living in one of Seivwright’s shelters.
Someone Lives Here screens:
April 29 – 5:30PM – Hot Docs Cinema
May 4 – 4:15PM – Tiff Bell Lightbox
Ralph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.