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TIFF 2019 Review: White Lie

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University undergraduate Katie Arneson is a poster child for cancer awareness and fundraising; however, it is all built upon a lie.  

Katie shaves her head before heading off to university where people have embraced her fundraising campaign for cancer treatment; she wants to become part of a treatment program but needs to submit medical records.  The undergraduate has a meeting with an associate in a car where she buys falsified prescription drugs and makes a request for forged documents; it is at this point the audience learns that the whole thing is a scam.  The prevailing question becomes if and when the con artist will be exposed.

Adding to the suspense fact is that the story is told entirely from the perspective of Katie until the last shot where she is seen from the point of view of someone else.   Kacey Rohl effectively conveys a growing feeling of desperation as Katie encounters obstacles in getting acceptance for a treatment program and social media accusations start appearing accusing her of being a con artist.  The dominance of a cool desaturated colour pallet contributes to the atmosphere of coldness while the camera is treated as if a documentary is being shot.  There is a slow pace to the proceedings which allows plenty of time for the audience to either gain sympathy or apathy for the protagonist.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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