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The Fall of Fujimori


Headed over to the Bloor Cinema today to catch the 4:15 screening of The Fall of Fujimori. My date and I were greeted by a lineup that snaked around the block. Facing the persistent rain, we felt the need to arm ourselves with some chai tea from the overflowing Second Cup and waited in line with some Peruvians who didn't have too many kind words to say about their ex-president.

Once inside, we grabbed a seat in the balcony but not before waiting our turn in the co-ed washroom - apparently the women's was out of commission. And for those keeping score, it had three urinals, two stalls and one sink.

Oh yeah. The film.

This was a well-crafted doc about the rise and fall of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. It wasn't entirely comprehensive - there were some questions from the crowd at the Q&A after the screening alluding to this - but to director Ellen Perry's credit, there is only so much that can be crammed into a 90 minute doc.

What makes this film worth seeing is the unprecedented access Perry got to Fujimori, who's currently living in Japan and listed as one of Interpol's most wanted. She also dug up lots of great archival footage and interviews with family members including both first wives.

Many are probably familiar with some of the key moments in Fujimori's tenure as president of Peru - the 1997 hostage crisis at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, and the search for cohort Vladamiro Montesinos. But there's lots of other great stuff here such as the crumbling of Fujimori's marriage and the revelation that he and his wife still ate dinner together even after she had publicly criticized him and decided to run against him in the presidential election.

The Fall of Fujimori screens once more at this year's Hot Docs, on Friday April 29th at 1pm. Whether you know anything about Peru and Fujimori or not, this film stands on its own and is definitely worth a look


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