Montreal International Documentary Festival

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19 November 2020 Festival

Explore the section CHALLENGING POWER


CHALLENGING POWER  available from November 19 to 25

These 12 films run the gamut from activist to experimental film, but they all confront current and past injustices, and pay tribute to brave, stalwart figures of resistance. Presented in collaboration with the CSN - Confédération des syndicats nationaux.

Some of the festival’s most-anticipated films are found in this section: the first-ever Congolese film selected for the Cannes Festival En route pour le milliard by Dieudo Hamadi (Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Belgium) who will participate in a RIDM Dialogue on Thursday, November 19 at 7 p.m.; Nardjes A. by Karim Aïnouz (Algeria, France, Germany, Brazil), presented at the Berlin and Visions du réel festivals; and Softie by Sam Soko (Kenya), which has been a festival-circuit hit with screenings at Sundance, CPH:DOX, Full Frame and Hot Docs. 


This section also includes three Hot Docs award winners: Apatrides by Michèle Stephenson (Canada), Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary; Impardonnable by Marlén Viñayo (Salvador), Best International Short Documentary; and Mother-Child by Andrea Testa (Argentina), named Best International Documentary at Hot Docs and best medium-length documentary at IDFA.


As always, this year’s RIDM gives pride of place to films by women, and they will be well represented in this section with Les femmes du soleil: une chronologie du regard by Hamed Zolfaghari (Iran, France) and Landfall by Cecilia Aldarondo (United States/Puerto Rico), a pair of activist first features. Quelque chose brûle by Victoria Maréchal, Nicolás Tabilo and Macarena Astete (Chile, Argentina) is a child’s-eye-view short that exposes a climate of violence and discrimination afflicting Chilean society.


Three Canadian films complete the section: Invasion by Michael Toledano and Sam Vinal (Canada), documenting Unist’ot’en opposition to a pipeline through their unceded territory; Oil & Water by Anjali Nayar (Quebec), which takes us to northern Kenya, where brave women rise up against colonialist and capitalist exploitation; and Peugeot pulmonaire by Samy Benammar (Quebec), an experimental short driven by white-hot rage against the dangerous sanitary conditions endured by workers in the heyday of industrialism.



This year’s RIDM box office is online-only, via our website. You can either buy a RIDM Pass ($70) to have access to all festival programming or subscribe to this thematic section ($15) to be able to watch all 12 films previously listed above. Each film will be available for one of the festival’s three weeks.


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Discover the best in documentary, take part in our year-round activities, and make the most of your festival!