The Toronto International Film Festival’s Books on Film series has been exploring cinema and literature for six seasons, bringing readers and viewers together for screenings, talks, and discussions about the challenges of adaptation and the versatility of storytelling. Books on Film is hosted by Eleanor Wachtel, host and co-founder of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company and Wachtel on the Arts.
The IFOA is thrilled to partner with TIFF to bring Helen Macdonald to discuss her memoir, H is for Hawk, alongside a screening of the 1969 British classic, Kes. While created almost half a century apart, both of these works examine the curious relationship between falconry and combating personal grief.
Directed by Ken Loach, Kes is one of the British Film Institute’s best British films of the century. Billy, who lives in a mining town in northern England, is bullied both at school and by his half-brother at home. He finds escape from the coal dust and abuse in Kes, a kestrel he raises and trains.
Helen Macdonald – scholar, writer, artist, falconer – writes for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of three collections of poetry and Falcon, a cultural history of falconry. Her latest book, H is for Hawk, is a memoir of her experiences training a goshawk in the wake of a family tragedy.