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TIFFMost of you know how much I read, however, today’s post is about blitzing on movies, a phenomenon my husband and I enjoy every September courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Ten days of immersion in the visual and audible world of movies stands in stark contrast to the written word – more on that in another post.

This year we ‘visited’ India (Parched), America (Sky, Remember), France (In the Shadow of Women, Parisienne, and Disorder), Australia (The Dressmaker), Hollywood – surely a country in its own right (Trumbo), Spain (Ma Ma), and Iran (Septembers of Shiraz). Beyond striking scenery and moving stories, we experienced other cultures and other times, and heard the beauty and passionate rhythms of other languages.

A striking feature of TIFF is the post-movie experience of hearing directors, producers, and actors speak about their reasons for making a particular film, the story behind the story, if you will. Such dialogue makes each film linger far beyond our typical Friday-night-nothing-much-to-do movie going experience, and makes our TIFF films special.

I always resist the notion of favourite, however, three stood out for me:

Trumbo – about Dalton Trumbo a screenwriter caught up in the House Unamerican Activities Commission in the late 1940s. Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren give wonderful performances.

Remember – actors Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau play men in their 90s whose experiences at Auschwitz prompt an amazing road trip.

Parched – director Leena Yadav takes us into the world of women living with poverty and male dominated traditions in rural India.

And now, we have to wait a whole year for the next TIFF.