If I'm choosing between two movies and both are entertaining and informative, but one is clearly out to change the world, I do find myself favoring the world-changer. That comes into play this year for me, though it may not for you.
"It is easy to be pessimistic, and to feel like a victim, but we need films that inspire us to go out and change things for the better. We have plenty of tragedy in real life in this part of the world; we don't need films to reinforce an already pervasive sense of despair."
It's shocking, but that very overreach may be the most effective way to tear down decades of myth-making. You can't defeat propaganda with more propaganda, or even always with the truth, but you can use it against itself.
"I need a little respect and dignity in my life!" screams out a Finnish punk rocker with cerebral palsy. This line could be the refrain of many of the films that screened at the recent Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival in Greece, now in its 15th year.
The Toronto International Film Festival, the world's second largest film festival, starts this week. This is a festival with a long history of introducing films that go on to be major critical and box-office hits.