HotDocs review: His & Hers [2010, Ken Wardrop]

Toronto – From the killing to the loving fields, I guess the switch is very distinct. I believe I saw the best Mother’s Day gift this year – but alas this idea will be unoriginal the moment I put up this article, and rendered impossible since I found out from Ken after the Q&A that it’s not in DVD form (at least not for consumers). Sigh. The shopping will have to continue.

His & Hers is a “vignette of 70 women spanning 90 years as it relates to their male counterparts”. That’s the official composition, at least. I think it is a very neat route of developing a character (his mom) who had, at one point in her life, possessed the same states of mind of each of these women and they, in turn, hers. From baby girls to advanced grandmothers, this is almost a celebration of the collective pains and joys of Irish women in the Midlands, where Wardrop drew a 15 or so mile radius and found his cast. The audience (full house at Cumberland 3) moved up and down with predictable empathy as Wardrop shows us the intimately funny and the depressingly inevitable. This is yet another film that should not be described. Due to the 16mm film choice, the filmmakers really had to stick with stationary shots and just a few minutes with each women (apparently film stock is rare). But the choice of angles were quite interesting. I can definitely appreciate how they selected the shots – you could freeze-frame and probably pick out still photos that are worth exhibiting. True, they’re not portrait shots, but they tell the story AND backdrop at the same time, which is important when your director comes from a short-film CV and intended this one to be a collection of shorts.

I don’t believe Wardrop set out to advance our knowledge about the entirety of the female experience. It’s a simple film about simple experiences. If that’s a sin, well, then one’s experiences must be too complex for the average 90 years old. There are reviews like this which marked it as terrible. Read it if you want to get another perspective; it’s quite funny as well. Take your mom to see it and I guarantee she’ll love it, if she can get through the accent.

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Posted on by Gary in Everything, Hot Docs, Reviews

3 Responses to HotDocs review: His & Hers [2010, Ken Wardrop]

  1. Wade

    Ken Wardrop is my hero. Was he at the screening?

  2. Gary

    Yup. Very nice and pleasant in the Q&A… a little hyper though.

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