Stranger Says: Not much happens in this documentary essay by Quebecois filmmaker Denis Côte. The dialogue is sparse—there’s more heavy breathing than words—and the action is small, especially considering the characters’ physical size. The film portrays six bodybuilders in Canada as they go about their daily lives: waking up, eating breakfast, caring for children, brushing their teeth, taking selfies, and, of course, picking up heavy things and then putting them back down. These men are massive, with muscles built and maintained through hard work and protein powder, and their brute size belies their sometimes sensitive inner lives. In one scene, you see a colossal tattooed muscle man eating his breakfast and quietly crying at something playing on his laptop. What inspired this emotion, we don’t know, but that hardly matters: the tears of a giant, wiping his eyes before he heads out the gym, are deeply, strangely fascinating, as is this whole quiet film.
by Katie Herzog