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#HotDocs22 Review: Don’t Come Searching

May 2, 2022

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

The 2022 Hot Docs Film Festival runs from April 28th to May 8th in Toronto, more information on tickets and showtimes can be found right here.

Early on in director Andrew Moir’s quietly heartbreaking documentary Don’t Come Searching, main subject Delroy Dunkley sings John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” to his daughter Brianna. “You leave too much,” she tells him. You see, every spring for the past thirteen years, Delroy has left his family in Jamaica and flown to Canada for six months to help out on a farm in Mount Brydges, Ontario, leaving his partner Sophia Malahoo behind to look after the kids.

Sophia is always buying lottery tickets in hopes of hitting the jackpot, so that her husband won’t have to spend half the year away earning money to send back home. It’s a reality that many family’s face, but this family’s story takes a tragic turn; Delroy has a cancerous tumour growing out of his chest, and is starting to lose his strength, forcing him to cut his work short and go back to Jamaica.

Moir follows Delroy and his family with tenderness and sensitivity in this moving vérité portrait, capturing little moments as Sophia takes on the role of caregiver to him, and comes to terms with the prospect of becoming a single mother. The film also captures Delroy’s close relationship both to his own family, and to the family in Ontario that employs him to work on their farm, offering poignant reminders of the sacrifices that parents make to provide for their kids.

Screenings:

Monday, May 2nd – 5:45 PM at Isabel Bader Theatre

Friday, May 6th – 3:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

The film is also available to stream across Canada for five days starting on May 3rd at 9:00 AM.

 

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