The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) returns for its 22nd annual edition from November 14 to 24, 2019. Ahead of the release of the full program on October 23, the festival is pleased to announce its opening and closing films. The Disappearance of my Mother, the first feature by Italian filmmaker Beniamino Barrese, will be presented in Quebec premiere at the opening night on Thursday, November 14. On Saturday, November 23 the festival will end on a high with Megan Wennberg’s Drag Kids, a Canadian film shot in Montreal. With courage and humour, both films call into question identity and representation.
Opening film – THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER
One of the revelations from this year’s Sundance festival, Barrese, in his first feature-length film, takes a fresh approach to the documentary portrait and turns his attention to his own mother – even as she vies to escape the cameras. A fashion icon in the 1960s and the muse of Warhol and Dalí, Italian model Benedetta Barzini defied expectations by becoming a journalist and professor, speaking out against the misogyny of her former milieu. Today, her aversion to cameras has tipped her into an existential crisis. Now in her 70s, she tells her son, filmmaker Beniamino Barrese, that she wants to “disappear.” But Barrese has been filming his mother since he was a child and is not about to give up without a fight. In an act of love fraught with contradiction, he decides, despite her resistance, to make the documentary as a tribute to her freedom. The confrontation between mother and son, filmed and filmer, is a paradoxical, complex and heartfelt attempt to redress the oppression of the camera.
The Disappearance of my Mother will bepresented at a screening attended by Beniamino Barrese and Benedetta Barzini at the SGWU Alumni Auditorium (room H-110) at Concordia University on Thursday, November 14 at 7 p.m. The film will be shown in Italian and English with French subtitles (by invitation only). Presented in partnership with the Montreal Italian Culture Institute.
On opening night, the film will be preceded by Nitrate, a short film by Yousra Benziane created as part of the Regard sur Montréal residency for emerging artists, immigrant artists from a first-generation cultural community or members of a visible minority. The residency is an initiative of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, SODEC, and the NFB, through its Independent Filmmaker Assistance Program (ACIC) in collaboration with Les Films de l’Autre.
The Disappearance of my Mother will also be shown at a public screening during the first weekend of the festival.
Closing Film – DRAG KIDS
Stephan, Jason, Nemis, and Bracken haven’t yet reached their teens, and on most counts, are much like other kids their age. One difference, perhaps, is the passion they share: performing as drag queens. Through their personas (Queen Lactatia, Laddy GaGa, Suzan Bee Anthony)and in Bracken’s case, by smashing feminine stereotypes, the four children joyously transform, reveal, and express themselves when they step onto the stage. Megan Wennberg goes behind the scenes on the eve of their first joint performance at Montreal Pride. With a great deal of warmth, she captures both their enthusiasm and nerves, as well as the unshakable support of their parents and a community keen to see them flourish in a culture of respect, trust, and freedom.
Drag Kids will be shown in Quebec premiere at the festival’s closing event, attended by Megan Wennberg and Queen Lactatia, one of the film’s protagonists, on Saturday, November 23 at 7 p.m. at the SGWU Alumni Auditorium (room H-110) at Concordia University. The film will be shown in English with French subtitles. Tickets for the closing event will go on sale on October 23 at noon. Presented in collaboration with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University and Espace Libre.
Thanks to our partners
The RIDM extends sincere thanks to its institutional, primary and associate partners, whose support makes this 22nd edition possible. Thanks to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, SODEC, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, Telefilm Canada, the Ville de Montréal, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Canadian Heritage, Bell Media, the Canada Media Fund, Canal D, FACTOR, Télé-Québec/La Fabrique culturelle, CSN, Radio-Canada, Cineplex, the Service de coopération et d’action culturelle du Consulat général de France à Québec and Tourisme Montréal.
Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival presents the best reality‐based films, including the works of established directors and new talents.
The 22nd annual RIDM will take place from November 14 to 24, 2019.