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Let’s all hate Christopher Hume

Let’s all hate Christopher Hume

I had the privilege of seeing Albert Nerenberg’s Let’s All Hate Toronto in advance of its premiere screening tonight at Hot Docs. Turns out that my earlier, entirely speculative post on the subject of the film was totally on the money, like with exact change.

Not only does the film begin with the song I linked to, it practically mirrors the opening montage of the amateur video posted on YouTube. What’s more, the film essentially comes to the same conclusion I did. So you have a choice: pay for a ticket and follow the exploits of the film’s protagonist, the eye-patched Mr. Toronto, for 90 minutes, or read my two paragraphs for free.

The film’s talking-head highlight, for me, is the Star’s Christopher Hume, who gets treated with kid gloves in the film despite being so blissfully blind to his own arrogance that he might as well be wearing Mr. Toronto’s eyepatch. Whenever the provincial cabinet meets to discuss some concession or other for Toronto, he says, the MPPs from Thunder Bay and elsewhere in the sticks resist it out of pure prejudice. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to have Toronto do well,” he goes on, “but the resentment runs so deep and is so irrational, they will gladly cut off their nose to spite the face that is Toronto.” If you’re not originally from here, you see right through this kind of stuff: it’s in Toronto’s best interest to have Toronto do well. It could also be in other places’ best interest, maybe, but it’s hardly obvious to the people of Moose Factory how they benefit from subsidizing the TTC. Yet Toronto holds its own worthiness and beneficence to be self-evident truths. Perhaps you have to be from elsewhere to understand just how grating that attitude can be. I used to hate Toronto. I don’t anymore. But I still see why others do.

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