With a nod to Jean Rouche and Edgar Morin’s seminal vérité documentary Chronicle of a Summer, Brett Story focuses her observational lens on New York City and its outer boroughs for the month of August 2017. Residents muse about the future in light of a Trump presidency and white nationalist demonstrations, while wildfires and hurricanes batter the nation’s coasts. Amidst these social disruptions and climate catastrophes, Story’s disarmingly simple act of recording over the course of 31 days reveals a collage of America at a pivotal point. Meticulously framed images provide rich context for the subjects’ perspectives, as their locale is integral to their point of view. It’s this conscious positioning that makes the film so immersive and visually compelling. As one of her subjects presciently observes, by “jumping to the future, we can think more clearly about the past.” The Hottest August is a vital testimony that will only become more pertinent as time passes.
MON, APR 29, 3:15 PM (closed captions)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 350 King Street West
THU, MAY 2, 6:00 PM (closed captions)
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto 13, 259 Richmond Street West
FRI, MAY 3, 12:30 PM (open captions)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 350 King Street West