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TIFF Review: ‘Sorry / Not Sorry’ Examines the Effects of Louis C.K. Returning from Cancelation

At one point, it would be fair to call comedian Louis C.K. one of the most treasured modern voices in art/comedy. He was hailed as a genius for his stand-up, television shows, and overall talent. So, to see him accused of sexual harassment in 2017 and subsequently canceled, it was a defining point in the #METOO Movement. Of course, he would then re-emerge, opening up a whole can of worms about how that should or not be handled. Playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, the documentary Sorry / Not Sorry seeks to examine that. There aren’t necessarily any easy answers, but there’s certainly a disucssion to be had.

Sorry / Not Sorry has a clear point of view, but it plays out in such a way that the doc should be seen by C.K.’s supporters, as well as detractors. In fact, the fans who support him now really should watch this one, if only to consider how their actions are impacting his victims. It’s a sad state of affairs that their voices are more silent now than the man who harassed them in the first place.

The documentary is an examination of Louis C.K., the comic who was accused of sexual harassment in 2017. Admitting to the allegations, he loses his show, going away to, in his words, do a lot of listening. The doc explores his then comeback, alongside the effects that this decision had on the women who spoke up about his behavior in the first place. Watching them reckon with him while he no longer seems to reckon with them is something hard not to be upset over.

Directors Cara Mones and Caroline Suh chart Louis C.K.’s rise in such a way that, even though you know the fall is coming, you wish it wouldn’t. Seeing how he was seen and feted as an ally, the betrayal is all the more frustrating. They keep the doc moving along, and while there’s a lot of interview material, the film mixes it up nicely.

Sorry / Not Sorry wants you to consider that Louis C.K. is both a talented and funny comedian, as well as a problematic person. They don’t shortchange either aspect, so you get what feels like a full range of the situation. It’s a TIFF documentary that should inspire plenty of discussion, that’s for sure!

SCORE: ★★★


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Written by Joey Magidson

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