Rites of passage

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead • Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave his approval for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. After years of government hard-sell and a blitz of pro-pipeline advertising in BC, the PM’s last-minute, tepid approval of the 1,200km pipeline from the tar sands came as some surprise. As crowds roared defiantly in … Read more

DOXA preview

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead • Spring is here and with it a new batch of top-notch, international documentaries at the DOXA Festival (www.doxafestival.ca), the west coast counterpart to Toronto’s world renowned Hot Docs. DOXA opens with Virunga, at the Playhouse on May 2. The documentary depicts the heroics of rangers protecting Africa’s oldest … Read more

It’s eerie in Finsterworld

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead • The annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (www.womeninfilm.ca) takes place at Vancity Theatre from March 6-9. The fest opens with BC director Karen Lam’s supernatural thriller Evangeline, a genre that organisers say is under-represented by women directors. It also includes the intriguing drama Finsterworld, screening on International … Read more

A heroine’s journey and other feats

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead • The annual Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is not just about mountains and it’s not just about film. The fest, which launched in North Vancouver in 1998, includes films and guest presentations on a whole bunch of outdoor adventuring activities over its nine-day run, including snowboarding, kayaking, cycle … Read more

Saving ourselves

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead • How does humanity deal with the threat of annihilation of itself and the biosphere? Three documentaries at the Vancouver International Film Festival offer very different responses. In The Expedition to the End of the World (Ekspeditionen til verdens ende), Danish director Daniel Dencik follows a crew of artists … Read more