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The Vancouver International Film Festival is over, but I thought I’d post quick reviews for the 6 movies I watched.

Tamara DreweTamara Drewe – The movie I was most reluctant to see, but the one I enjoyed the most. A British chick-flick that was smart and witty. The romantic comedy bits were either over-the-top funny or refreshingly intelligent. Hardly any clichéd content. Probably the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.

City of Life City of Life – Remember the movie Crash? A portrait of several people of different racial and economic backgrounds intertwining in a dramatic plot. This was the same movie, but set in Dubai. Not that that is a bad thing. It was an extremely interesting and entertaining portrait of life in one of the craziest and interesting cities in the world.

Back to the GardenBack to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle – An interesting documentary about hippies in Eastern Washington. The film maker tracked down a bunch of hippies he had met in the 80s to see what they were up to today, and surprisingly found most were still living the hippy-life. It was about 15 minutes too long, but fascinating.

Leave Them LaughingLeave Them Laughing – An inspiring story of a woman who deals with ALS with a wicked sense of humour. Watching a woman who’s health is rapidly deteriorating, but who is handling the situation the best she can (often with crude jokes), was both tragic and inspiring.

Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie - press photoForce of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie – A biography of environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki, who really has had a fascinating life. It was an interesting summary of everything he’s experienced (being shipped off to a Japanese internment camp to hosting the Nature of Things), but I was looking for something more inspirational. He did a great job answering the Q&A afterwards, but I wanted to see more of his ideas in the film.

Die 4 RevolutionThe 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy – A slickly produced documentary on solutions that will allow us to transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a renewable energy economy in the next 20 years. The film is a series of vignettes focusing on the politicians, scientists, business leaders, and inventors who are leading the way and the technologies that are already available and being used around the world. Because it was a series of short (around 3-5 minutes per person) clips, it did lack depth, but there were some really interesting bits. The person who fascinated me the most was Hermann Scheer, a German politician who champions renewable energy. He had some interesting quotes about how the greatest challenge isn’t technological or social, it is overcoming giant, multinational oil companies who are paralysing people by convincing us that the transition to renewable energy is impossible in the next 50 years.

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