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PINOCCHIO (#HotDocs15 Review)



Directed by André-Line Beauparlant

How well do you know your sibling? How well can you know them really? Or more importantly, how well do you want to know them? Quebec filmmaker and production designer (INCENDIES), André-Line Beauparlant bravely turns the camera inward on her own relationship with her brother in an attempt to answer some of these questions in her second documentary, PINOCCHIO.

After receiving a bizarre phone call from a man claiming to have been scammed by her brother in Brazil, Beauparlant begins her journey. She wants to understand how two people who grew up in the same surroundings could end up so different. Her brother, Eric is a vagabond and a con artist, and proud of it. As she treats us to home movie footage of her brother flying a kite as a young boy, we hear them converse as adults over the phone about how happy he is to live his life without rules. It’s borderline romantic until you hear a beep alerting them that their conversation has to come to an end, given that Eric is in prison.


This action takes place in 2010 and she cuts back and forth between this phone call, in which the man from Brazil refuses to identify himself but also makes it clear that if she doesn’t repay what her brother stole he will send him to prison, and footage from conversations she had with her brother in Brazil three years prior. He tells her of how he lives, and how he steals from people in order to do so, and it becomes clear that it isn’t possible to trust a single word he says. It is even difficult at times to tell whether he even believes the words coming out of his mouth.

Ultimately, Eric is responsible for his own actions. Beauparlant makes that clear to her audience and to her brother. To see how much a man who cares so little about everyone around him actually affects those people with his actions is what makes PINOCCHIO so telling.

3.5 sheep

PINOCCHIO will have its World Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of Canadian Spectrum program. It will be preceded by the short film, JULIO, directed by Eui Yong Zong.

Screening Schedule …

Monday, April 27, 9:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Tuesday, April 28, 3:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

Saturday, May 2, 9:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

For more information and for tickets, please visit

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Pinocchio?


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