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#HotDocs23 Review: Revir – Everything You Hold Dear

May 1, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The 2023 Hot Docs Film Festival runs from April 27th to May 7th in Toronto, more information on tickets and showtimes can be found right here.

The observational documentary Revir – Everything You Hold Dear offers a quiet portrait of Susie and Sune, two adult siblings who share a house together in the Danish countryside.

This is very much a documentary that simply allows us to observe the unique dynamics between this brother and sister, with a simmering tension that we sense rising as Sune tries to handle Susie’s mental health challenges. A creeping sense of resentment comes from the fact that Sune has to travel three hours to work each day, partially so that he can support Susie’s fledgling taxidermy business that she runs out of their home.

We watch as Susie – an avid hunter – prepares a raccoon dog to display at the European Taxidermy Championship in Hungary (some of the images of this process are not for the squeamish), and their estranged mother enters back into the picture. The film is a bit slow-moving in places, but more context is added through candid conversations that offer hints about their neglectful childhood, and allow us to piece together what is obviously a complex family history that led to these siblings living together and having to support each other.

But the film is more just about observing them on a day-to-day basis, with director Peter Hammer offering the visual cue of dioramas in glass cases to provide some artful metaphor. The result is a low-key portrait of two siblings living together, that offers somewhat of a window into a dynamic we don’t usually see onscreen.

Screenings: Monday, May 1st, 8:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 3; Thursday, May 4th, 11:15 AM at Scotiabank Theatre 7. Tickets can be purchased here, and the film will also be streaming online across Canada from May 5th to 9th.

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