RIDM 2016 : Documentaries You Can’t Miss

RIDM. Photo Rachel Levine RIDM. Photo Rachel Levine

The RIDM, the annual documentary festival brings powerful films on topics you know about and some you don’t. There are many elements to this 10 day festival, including feature competitions, retrospectives, special screenings, music, pitch competitions, and more.

Day to day it can be hard to pick the films to see. Here are our picks for the films you should catch this week.

November 13

We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Alanis Obomsawin has things to say that demand our attention. For six years, she followed Cindy Blackstock as she fights legal battles to ensure equality in social services for aboriginal children in the Yukon and on reserves. Canada proves itself to be a place of lip service, where it isn’t always easy to get the law to do what is right. Tickets HERE.

The Prison in 12 Landscapes

8:15 p.m.

The American penal system has been accused of unfairness and brutality. Through 12 different vignettes, Brett Story looks at the prison without once filming a penitentiary. Instead, the prison is seen from different perspectives, allowing a glimpses of its varied roles in American society. The film showcases both prisoners, communities, and those related to the prison system alike. We see female prisoners fighting wildfires in California, an Appalachian coal town that hopes to provide jobs through a new prison, and a Bronx warehouse with goods intended for the state correctional system. Plays again on November 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets HERE.

November 14

Brothers of the Night

9 p.m.

Three Roma men are unable to find work in Europe. Stuck in Vienna and unable to feed their families, they take up prostitution in a hustler bar called Rudiger. We see their lives and hear their take on the business. Survival and solidarity is at the heart of this film. This film plays again Nov 16 at 6:15 p.m. Tickets HERE.

Fire at Sea


5:45 p.m.

The opening film of the festival, Fire at See looks at the small Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants have landed in hopes of making it to mainland Europe. The film follows an ordinary doctor, a young local boy, and rescue operations. The film has been lauded everywhere it has shown. Tickets HERE.

November 15

Resurrecting Hassan

8:45 p.m.

Chances are that if you’ve ridden the Montreal metro, you’ve seen the Hartings. These blind singers sing their hearts out. While Denis, Peggy, and Lauviah sing daily, they all long for their son Hassan who died a few years ago. They turn to the teachings of a Russian mystic on resurrection for solace. Tickets HERE.

All These Sleepless Nights


8:45 p.m.

Polish film always has my attention. Michal Marczak captures the lives of art school student Christopher and Michel who stay up all night, partying, dancing, and coming of age. The film plays again on November 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets HERE.

November 16


6:30 p.m.

This Japanese ex-cop has found himself busier in retirement than he was when employed. He watches out for potential suicide victims at the Tojinbo cliffs and tries to save them. The film plays again on November 17 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets HERE.

Rocks in My Pockets

6 p.m.

Signe Baumane looks into mental illness and depression through family testimonials as well as her own recollections. Signe tries to discover why Anna, her grandmother committed suicide. Signe herself grapples with depression as do her family members. She searches for the link between all of them. Tickets HERE.

November 17


8 p.m.

Wang Bing looks at the Ta’ang people, a Burmese ethnic minority who are fleeing a war taking place at the border of China and Myanmar. Thousands of women, children, and older people fled over the border into China. They hide in the mountains, seeking shelter and community, and word of those who stayed behind. Tickets HERE.

Manuel de libération/We’ll Be Alright

6:15 p.m.

Yulia and Katia are orphans who have been locked in the Tinskaya psychiatric hospital. They fight Russia to have their freedom restored. Get ready for a Kafkaesque journey through court hearings and interrogations as they fight for the restoration of their rights and emancipation. The film shows again on Nov 19 at 2:15 p.m. Tickets HERE.

November 18

Raving Iran

6:15 p.m.

Western music is forbidden in Iran. That hasn’t stopped these two DJs in Tehran’s underground techno scene from keeping the music alive. They are tired, though, and they organize one last illicit rave. An invitation to go to Zurich follows. Do they go, and enter exile, or do they stay in Iran? The film plays again on November 20 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets HERE.

Raise Your Arms and Twist Documentary of NMB48

8:30 p.m.

Japanese idol groups rely on popularity to keep them going. The number of fans determine how long they last. Funahashi Atusushi looks at the competitions and production-like creation of these starlets. The film shows again on Nov 19 at 8:15 p.m. Tickets HERE.

November 19

The Human Surge

7:45 p.m.

Eduardo Williams film travels to three different countries to explore how several young men address exploitative labor practices and the disassociation created by technological relationships. The film plays again Nov 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets HERE.

Un Journalist au Front

7 p.m.

Jesse Rosenfeld took off to the Middle East to report on Egypt, Tyrkey, Iraq, Israel, and Palestine for The Daily Beast. Santaigo Bertolino follows Rosenfeld as he tries to publish stories about people and events transforming the Middle East. The film is as much about the engaging reporter as it is about the nature of creating news media. The film plays again on November 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets HERE.

November 20

El futuro perfecto

2:30 p.m.

Xiaobin moves to Argentina from China. Since she can’t speak Spanish, she enrols in language classes and tries to fit in. She makes new friends and thinks about what direction to take her life, while dealing with its inherent contradictions. The film also plays on Nov 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets HERE.

The RIDM continues until November 20. For all events, click HERE.

About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts