Tuesday, April 24, 2007

hot tea&socks docs

Still from Village of Socks

The Community Outreach Coordinator at Hot Docs has outreached to us here in the Toronto craft community to let us know about two films in the 2007 lineup that may appeal to knitters and hand crafters – one film about a village that sustains itself by handknitting socks (co-presented with the Textile Museum of Canada) and another about one man’s search for hand crafted teas that support sustainable living. (See below for more detailed descriptions).

Some notes on the fest: Hot Docs is the largest documentary film festival in North America and takes place from April 19-29, 2007 at theatres in the Annex and Bloor/Yorkville neighbourhoods. Students and seniors get in for FREE at Hot Docs screenings before 6:00 pm, and Pay-what-you-can admittance is in effect for the general public for screenings after 11:00 pm throughout the festival. All theatres are wheelchair accessible (please note the lavatories at the Bloor Cinema are not accessible).

All In This Tea
D: Les Blank, Gina Leibrecht 70 MIN USA
A guided tour through the wondrous world of tea, the latest film from distinguished documentarian Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht follows American tea importer David Lee Hoffman to some of the most remote regions of China in search of the world's finest teas.

A passionate supporter of sustainable, environmentally sound practices, Hoffman is a champion of the independent tea farmers who adhere to ancient, handcrafted methods. Explaining the delicate balance between art and science in tea leaf cultivation, Hoffman strives to bring China's teas to the world market, but is frustrated by the business politics of giant tea factories. Nevertheless, he revels in the medicinal, meditative and transformative power of tea, not to mention its tangible connection to the earth and its timeless relationship to previous generations.

Blank's longtime friend, fellow filmmaker and tea lover Werner Herzog, appears at one point savouring a special cup of tea that tastes "like a forest, leaves on the ground, it has just rained, the rain has stopped, it's damp, and you're taking a walk. And somehow that's all in this tea."

Isabel Bader Theatre, April 24 @ NOON (free for students and seniors) TODAY!!

Village of Socks
D: Ileana Stǎnculescu, Klaudia Begic 78 MIN Romania, Germany
Made with great care, this award-winning observational doc captures the charm and allure of a community of workers practicing a centuries-old tradition while living on the edge of the European Union behemoth. In the beautiful Transylvanian village of Viscri/Deutschweisskirch, the townspeople gather each morning for "sock hour" where they wrangle over the shapes and stitches of the knitted socks they will export across the continent.

Everyone in town seems to be associated with the "sock project." Established by a German musician who lives in the town, it now offers economic freedom to hundreds of women who sit in the town square, gossiping about their ne'er-do-well husbands, and helping to export tens of thousands of socks each year. Presented with short film RENDEZ-VOUS. Co-presented with the Textile Museum of Canada.

Al Green, April 25 @ 7:00 PM
ROM Theatre, April 28 @ 3:00 PM (free for students and seniors)


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