The Rwandan border personnel waves me through without headache but, in the interstitial area between the two countries, I’m stopped almost immediately by the Congolese military. It seems pretty obvious that I am a sore thumb in these parts: solo, white American in a barrel of ethnic Hutus and Tutsis.
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The problem with saving animals from extinction is that so many of them are also scary, threatening, and nihilistic. I can’t empathize with them. I have no feeling of kinship with these fellow life forms. These particular animals seem to have been designed by nature specifically to evoke this reaction from me, so I don’t feel bad about it.
Hot Docs is the young stud of Toronto film events. Just eighteen years old, it’s already the biggest documentary film festival in North America. I had a press pass and spent ten days watching movies about Mexican drug-war killings and the healing power of dolphins amidst rapt audiences who really hated it when you came in late or wrestled with the packaging on your granola bar. Here is some of what I saw.