VIFF 2022 is here with an incredible array of documentaries to see.

Photo of a movie theatre filled with patrons. VIFF logo on the big screen.

Every year VIFF has a fantastic selection of documentaries to check out. It’s one of my favourite genres of film because you get to walk away changed. Whether it’s learning something new, offering you a different perspective on an issue, or stepping into the shoes of someone you may have never had the chance to know in person. Documentaries give a voice to real life stories and people. Here’s a few docs I’ve had the chance to see so far coming up in the festival.


“Ever Deadly”

If you’ve never experienced a throat singing performance before prepare to have goose bumps all over your body. This documentary showcases the incredibly talented Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit throat singer from Nunavut. Her vocalizations are deeply moving. I’ve never seen anything like it before. For me, it felt like hearing the voices of our ancestors. Her vocal range is beyond mind blowing and startling at times. During her performance Tanya explains her style of throat singing as contemporary and an “electric kind of experience”. Tanya likes to be “more expressive” with her vocalizations and she’s inspired by metal music. That’s so cool!

Along with her performance the documentary takes a look at her life, her hometown, her family and touches on the issue of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and two spirit people in Canada and how all of these aspects of her life influence her performances.


“Last Flight Home”

It's a documentary about a prolific business man and philanthropist Eli Timoner who chose to end his life by medically assisted death. The film follows the last two weeks of his time here on earth as his family prepares to say goodbye to their loving patriarch. They did an incredible job showing the entire process of medically assisted death and beautifully highlighted Eli's life and incredible accomplishments and didn’t shy away from revealing his faults. There's a sweet moment when he offers some really powerful life advice to his grandson. Right until the last second of the film it holds your heart tight in its grip. It really is powerful beyond words.

“We don’t get a choice on how we come into this world but we should have a choice on how we go out”.


“Lay Down Your Heart”

In this documentary director Marie Clements interviews her dear friend Niall McNeil, a painter, poet, theatre actor and playwright who has Down Syndrome. This film gives you a little glimpse into the life and mind of this incredibly talented man. Niall has a beautiful way of seeing his friends as family members and he recounts lovely stories that he created as a way of expressing what each person means to him. His closest friends get to share how they met Niall and the impact he has had on their lives. You also get to see and hear some of his creative works. He is quite an inspiration and this documentary is a lovely opportunity to celebrate his accomplishments.


The 41st Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 29 – October 9.

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