Hot Docs: 15 Reasons to Live [2013, Alan Zweig]


15 Reasons To live is the latest documentary from Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig. In this film, we meet a series of characters, all of whom have found happiness – whether it is was temporary or sustained and their stories are relayed (and some might be re-enacted) in the documentary.

Based on the work of Ray Robertson, the film takes us through fifteen stories from a variety of people in all swaths of life. They have all found happiness at some point. These stories are have been categorized under broad terms such as “love”, “home” and “intoxication” for example. Some stories are particularly strong (a wife allows her husband to walk around the world for ten years, strangers team up to save a whale) and some seem rather odd (mother abandons her kids for hours at a time to go to a mall) but maybe the point of it is that everyone is different, and everyone finds happiness in different things. I am glad that some of the stories Zweig chose had archival footage, otherwise it would have been a series of talking heads followed by shots of the subjects walking around in random Toronto neighborhoods. As much as I like pointing out what places are during the film, it might not have provided for the most interesting visual experience for non-Toronto people. Zweig’s interviewing style for some of these stories is interesting, as he tends to talk about himself during the subject’s story (especially the introverted girl/boating story). I guess it’s his documentary and he can do whatever he wants.

While all the stories are just very loosely connected, the message of the film is clear. Everyone in the world can have happiness, it might come in odd shape and sizes, but it’s up to you to choose to find it. A pretty good message.

Sat, Apr 27 6:30 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Mon, Apr 29 1:30 PM @ Isabel Bader Theatre
Sun, May 5 1:30 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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