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Bloor Cinema Release: The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

June 20, 2014

By John Corrado

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne Poster

After premiering at Hot Docs back in 2013, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne is finally opening at the Bloor Cinema this weekend, and will be playing multiple times until next Thursday.  Tickets and showtimes are right here.

Although on the surface the 81-year-old Doris Payne seems like a sweet elderly woman with attitude to spare, she has made a career out of being a notorious jewel thief, taking diamond rings from high end shops.

Growing up poor with an abusive father, she believes that her thievery is payback for the racism she used to endure, showing no remorse for the $2 million of product she has ripped off over the years.  Directed by Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne follows her as she tells stories of daring escapes and stands trial for her final job, with an annoyingly ruthless lawyer by her side.

Among the forty that I saw at Hot Docs in 2013, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne admittedly wasn’t one of my top favourites, but the title subject is interesting enough to overcome the more manipulative scenes and overly glossy reenactments that plague the film.  As it stands, this is a pretty good documentary about a woman who is described as both the hero and villain of her own story, that is mildly worth checking out if you missed it at last year’s festival.

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