Set The Bar
Lifestyle in Style

Toronto Hot Docs: “Marion Stokes Project”

This is a bit of an odd film.

A former communist in Philadelphia tapes news and talk shows from her many television sets for 30 years until she has amassed over 70,000 tapes. It would appear she was a bit of a hoarder as she read 11 newspapers a day and never threw them out. Not only that she had a book collection of over 40,000.

It could be an easy conclusion to make she was suffering from a strange case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She was definitely a very articulate and intelligent women. The question then is why did she make so many tapes? For some reason she thought it enhanced her freedom to make choices. Her son says it’s a form of activism. She collected these tapes hoping the stories they contained would not be forgotten.

The clips from these tapes highlight 30 years of history and it is a real trip back in time if you lived in those years but if you did not enjoy the history of the world flow by you although abridged it may be. The tapes are now archived in San Francisco and will be digitalized and made easily accessible so we can all watch often differing interpretations of both the news and the world.

The director of this 87-minute US film is Matt Wolf and will be showing at the Bell TIFF Lightbox on May 1 at 5 p.m., May 2 at 7:45 p.m. and May 5 at 4 p.m.

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