the end of wonderland la fin de wonderland RIDM Montreal documentary film festival

Montreal documentary film festival RIDM starts today!

Films about beloved Montreal figures from the worlds of film, photography and sports, international explorations of socio-political issues and more.

The 24th annual Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal, ie. the Montreal documentary film festival best known as RIDM, runs from Nov. 10–24. By far the most talked about film in this year’s RIDM program is Dehors Serge Dehors, a documentary chronicling the crippling depression and isolation that has afflicted beloved actor and comedian Serge Thériault over the last decade. Directors Pier-Luc Latulippe and Martin Fournier focus on the people in his life to depict the reality of the depths of depression, which has earned them some side-eye from those who believe the premise is exploitative. Laurence Turcotte-Fraser turns her camera towards Tara Emory, an American erotic photographer and fetish model whose hectic lifestyle and overall life problems are getting in the way of her art in La fin de Wonderland. Jackie Robinson is at the heart of the film Dear Jackie, directed by Henri Pardo, who looks at the legacy of the trailblazing baseball player as paralleled with the current situation of the Black community in Little Burgundy.

Dehors Serge Dehors (screening at Montreal documentary film festival RIDM)

Alireza Rasoulinejad’s Eastwood focuses on the filmmaker’s quest to meet the legendary actor and filmmaker in Iran after seeing a picture of him in the newspaper, while Joannie Lafrénière’s Gabor explores the photographer Gabor Szilasi. Three of the leading Italian filmmakers of today (Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello and Francesco Munzi) head up Futura, which seeks to update the “youth of today” approach of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Love Meetings by interviewing a variety of young Italians about their thoughts on the world. It seems to have some theme in common with Romanian-Canadian filmmaker Bogdan Stoica’s They Sleep Standing, which profiles Romanian youth. 

Eastwood (screening at Montreal documentary film festival RIDM)

Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, American Honey) directs Cow, a wordless documentary in the style of this year’s Gunda that follows the daily life of the titular cow. After 2017’s Ouvrir la voix, French director Amandine Gay looks at international adoption in Une histoire à soi. Vadim Kostrov directed the minimalist docu-fiction Orpheus, which looks at modern life in Russia, while, in One of Ours, Yasmine Mathurin looks at the sensitive issue of a young Haitian man adopted by Indigenous parents and what his status and identity are at this juncture in time.

An extensive overview of the work of documentarian Vitaly Mansky is also on the program, showcasing many films from his 30-year career. 

The program, of course, contains many short films (including a selection from Wapikoni Mobile) and discoveries. ■

For more on RIDM, please visit the festival’s website.

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