In a year in which reality has felt stranger than fiction, what better than a documentary film festival to help us make sense of surreal times?
From the onset of the pandemic, it was obvious to the team at Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) that its 23rd edition would be like no other.
“We said, ‘We can’t get to November with a festival that doesn’t take into consideration the changing situation in the world,” recalled RIDM artistic director Bruno Dequen.
The idea of dividing the programming into thematically linked sections took hold.
“We thought of creating a section about community (Seeking Communities), which is clearly important in the context of 2020,” Dequen said. “We’re all isolated, and have lost most of the social contact we had. What do we do with community in the present moment?
“The same question led us to (the section) Becoming Oneself. It was something we had already been thinking of. This is an era of quests for identity, whether related to racial origins or of sexuality and genre. There are different kinds of quests for identity.