Hot Docs runs April 28 – May 8, screening in Toronto and streaming Canada-wide.

The Canadian documentary film festival Hot Docs will take place in a hybrid way with in person screenings as well as some happening online. Here is just a sampling of films screening at this year’s festival:

A murder mystery told in miniatures; a rally to protect the rights of female athletes; two midwives in Myanmar defy divisions to work in a makeshift clinic; a poetic homage to objects at their end of life; the first-ever feature documentary on Marcel Marceau; and an exposing investigation into Canada’s historic treatment of children with intellectual disabilities. 

Bernie Langille Wants To Know What Happened to Bernie Langille
Directed by Jackie Torrens
Canada; World Premiere

Recreating the story of his family narrative through the use of intricate, detailed miniatures, Bernie Langille attempts to piece together the unbelievable puzzle of his grandfather’s mysterious, unsolved death in 1968.

Category: Woman
Directed by Phyllis Ellis
Canada; World Premiere

When international sport governing bodies rule that ‘identified’ female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies due to their naturally high androgen levels, under the guise of fair play, four champion runners from the Global South fight back against racism, the policing of women’s bodies in sport, and the violation of their human rights. 

Directed by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing Snow
Myanmar, Canada, Germany: Canadian Premiere

Two midwives, one Buddhist and one Muslim, defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side in a makeshift clinic in western Myanmar, providing medical services to the Rohingya of Rakhine State. Over five years we witness their struggles, hopes and dreams amidst an environment of ever-increasing chaos and violence.

Directed by Stacey Tenenbaum
Canada: World Premiere
Northern Banner

Discover the vast and strangely beautiful places where things go to die and meet the people who collect, restore, and recycle the world’s scrap. Scrap scratches beneath flaking paint and rusting metal to reveal the beauty and pathos in the ugliness we leave behind.

The Art of Silence
Directed by Maurizius Staerkle Drux
Switzerland, Germany: International Premiere

With his gestures and facial expressions alone, the mime Marcel Marceau captured audiences around the globe for decades. But the tragic background behind his work has remained hidden for a long time. The Art of Silence sheds new light on his life and unique art form, which his family and companions keep alive to this day.

Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children
Directed by Barri Cohen
Canada: World Premiere
White Pine Pictures

As director Barri Cohen uncovers the truth about her two long-dead half-brothers, who were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia in the 1950s, the hidden, searing truths about an entire government-enabled system of institutional cruelty and ugliness against children with intellectual disabilities are revealed.