Image: Lynx Man, VIFF 2023
Documentaries that change the way we see the world
Journeys, expeditions, and roads less travelled are at the heart of many Insights titles. Two outstanding environmental documentaries explore the oceans’ depths and world’s soils and emerge with possible solutions. We see the hardwon successes of South Asian Canadians staking their claim in our national sport. The impacts of colonialism are investigated, but examples of resilience and healing are also offered. The concepts of compassion and care are also present in profiles of addiction expert Gabor Maté and a unique psychiatric centre floating on the Seine.
A reclusive farmer begins to reconnect with Finland's near-extinct Eurasian lynxes after finding them on his land. Through a series of wildlife encounters, the farmer performs primal, moonlit rituals, blurring the distinctions between man and beast.
This moving doc zooms in on Ho Chung Village, which lies in the hilly rural area of Hong Kong. Once a decade, its citizens hold the Peace and Light Festival as a tribute to their village, its departed souls, and the gods that preside over them all.
In 2019, FUNAI, a Brazilian state protection agency working for Indigenous rights, sent an expedition of 30 people into the Amazon rainforest to make first contact with the Korubo. This powerful film is an immersive ethnographic journey.
An impassioned plea to care for the very thing that feeds us, balances the climate, and sustains life on earth: soil. Common Ground unveils the potential of regenerative farming, to show us how saving the soil can help save us along with it.
In 2018, an American missionary traveled illegally to one of the most isolated places on Earth– North Sentinel Island, determined to convert one of the world’s most isolated populations to Christianity. This misguided mission would quickly see him killed.
WaaPaKe is a story about resilience, love and transformation. Examined through an Indigenous lens, the stories of residential school Survivor-Warriors and their families offer an understanding of both intergenerational trauma and healing.
This spirited sports doc follows four junior hockey players of South Asian descent through the 2021-2022 season as they strive to make it to the NHL. Among them, Surrey’s own Arsh Bains, who signs with the Vancouver Canucks.
Exploring the luminous ecosystems deep in the Pacific Ocean alongside the countries and companies hoping to reap the lucrative deposits of precious metals lining depths of the ocean. Deep Rising asks if this may end our search for efficient green power.
On the Seine in central Paris, not far from the city’s cultural landmarks, is a huge, floating barge called The Adamant, a psychotherapy day centre with a special focus on art therapy. This tender doc won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale.
One of the world's foremost experts on addiction and trauma, Dr Gabor Maté shares not only his theories, but also his own story: his difficult childhood in Hungary and his long years of therapeutic practice in and around Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.