Hot Docs 2014: Absences (2014)

Posted by Brandy Dean April 25, 2014 0 Comment 4035 views

As any graphic designer can tell you, negative space is powerful. Sometimes we humans need a quiet, restful space where there is nothing. It may seem counter intuitive to view the absence of people we love as a positive thing, but Absences from filmmaker Carole Laganière inspires a fresh look at loss.

Absences follows a cast of people who have lost someone – Laganière’s own mother has slipped into Alzheimer’s, Ines searches for her lost mother in Croatia, Deni tries to find his absent father’s Quebec family, and Natalie look for her sister, missing now for four years. But this documentary is not about those tragic losses. Rather, it’s about the hero’s journey each participant takes in the face of those losses. It’s not about the losing, it’s about the searching inspired by the loss.

Laganière does a remarkable job in demonstrating that loss is really a catalyst. As Deni notes, while searching for a family he’s never known, you can’t search for something that is present. Don’t be mistaken – Absences is not a collection of happy tales. It is a powerful, philosophical mediation on the the power of negative spaces in our own lives. It’s also a Hot Docs must see.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Screening Times for Absences

TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Fri, Apr 25 6:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 Sat, Apr 26 1:00 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 7 Sat, May 3 9:00 PM

Watch the Absences Trailer


About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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