directed by Ingrid Veninger
Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Festival, runs April 25-May 5, 2019 at Toronto's Bloor Cinema. Visit the fest's official site for more details.
by Angelo Muredda On the surface, Ingrid Veninger's first documentary feature The World or Nothing seems a departure from her scrappy, micro-budget semi-autobiographical work to date. A slice-of-life portrait of Rupert and Rubildo Ridinza, late twenty-something twins trying to make it big in Barcelona as YouTube celebrities without losing their connection to the family they left behind in Cuba, the film seems distant from early projects that starred members of Veninger's family, their characters typically displaced on European trips that test and form them. Though Veninger's latest follows a different family unit at a somewhat safer distance, it shares her earlier work's flinty but genial sensibility, as well as its thematic preoccupation with outsider artists engaged in the sometimes-indelicate art of self-promotion.
These twinning bits aside, The World or Nothing also works as a clear-eyed tribute to the fortitude required of anyone in the freelance hustle, especially those far from home. In that, it makes a strong pairing with not only odes to fraternal love such as Dead Ringers and Stuck On You but also Veninger's own i am a good person/i am a bad person, where she stars as an enterprising filmmaker tirelessly canvassing the streets and parks of Berlin to get asses into seats to see her film. In both cases, it's a quixotic mission at best, but all the more amiable for it. Programme: Canadian Spectrum