Friday, September 8, 2017 - Day One at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and I find myself entangled in movies that explore the seemingly endless capacity people have for inflicting harm on one another. Deliberately, sadistically, sometimes with understandable motivations, but all too often for no good reason at all.
TIFF is a sprawling 11-day, 340-movie film festival that includes everything from Hollywood prestige pictures to low-budget indies to obscure international arthouse cinema. No one critic can catch every screening on any given day, so please take this post as reflective of one particular critic’s experience at the festival thus far.
That said, the movies that I saw Thursday were rife with violence. Not gratuitous, shoot-em-up, summer-blockbuster-backdrop carnage, but violence central to the development of each story and to the relationships between each characters. Violence used to understand and comment upon American race relations, global terrorism, the resurgence of white supremacism, trauma-induced-revenge fantasies, and even the arbitrary tyranny with which some parents rule over their children.