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TIFF: Three Movies, Three Winners

Despite a number of logistical setbacks leading up to TIFF, we managed to exchange a majority of our vouchers for tickets this morning with a very nice lady who put up with all of my inane anti-TIFF comments very well. We ended up seeing three movies today: at 10:00am we watched Persepolis, an animated movie about an Iranian girl growing up amid the Shah, the revolution, and the even more oppressive regime of the Imans. It was a little unexpected and a little sad, but quite good actually. Next we walked across the hallway to our second movie, My Kid Could Paint That, at 12:15. It was a documentary about a child abstract painter, Marla Olmstead, whose family became mired in accusations of helping with her paintings when they claimed to provide no aid. The documentary was deeply textured but overall quite damning on the topic of whether Marla actually painted “her” masterpieces herself. The director himself was there and answered a few questions afterwards; he came across as a very likeable character who almost hated himself for coming to the inevitable conclusion that Marla had some help. He leaves open the possibility that his implied accusation is false, but he couldn’t find any other way to interpret the mountain of evidence that was gathered while making his documentary. Finally, we hoofed our way to the Visa screening room where we watched an epic about Ghengis Kahn, Mongol. It was a great and epic way to end our first day at the festival — unfortunately, our day didn’t end there. Although making it into Toronto without any problems in the morning, traffic leaving the city was something truly incredibly awful: In about two hours we made it only about two miles and nearly ran out of gas. We finally made it to a gas station, where we decided to hang out for a while until traffic died down some. We finally made it back to our hotel about 9:00, when we had originally left at 6:00. It was a somewhat stress-ridden ride, to say the least. At any rate, here are my totally off-the-cuff ratings (:

Persepolis: 3.0/5.0
My Kid Could Paint That: 3.5/5.0
Mongol: 4.5/5.0

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