WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

“Ric Esther Bienstock’s provocative new film Tales From the Organ Trade is a bold investigative documentary… This smart, solidly produced film is sure to make viewers uncomfortable as it elides all possibility for easy answers…Tales From the Organ Trade asks some profoundly complex moral and philosophical questions. Hung juries are bound to deliberate the film’s conundrums for hours...”  Patrick Mullen, Cinemablographer

“The degree of access Bienstock has been given is both astounding and frightening. It’s a true eye opener that it’s impossible not to have a gut reaction while watching.” Andrew Parker, Dork Shelf

“A challenge to the viewer and thought-provoking… this is one plucky and thorough investigation paired with good narration to boot. It throws its full weight behind sketching out a phenomenon tucked under legal and administrative rugs and it succeeds.” Jerina Hajno, Press + 1

“…Takes you on a ride you won’t soon forget.”­Michael Posner, The Globe and Mail

Tales From the Organ Trade is a stunning documentary from Emmy Award-­winning director Ric Esther Bienstock.” Lynn Fenske, Examiner

" It weaves a thought-­provoking narrative from dark strands of a grim underground trade, leaving the audience with truly valuable insight and perspective." Jake Marcks, Tiny Mix Tapes

“This shocking look into the business of underground human organ trafficking is one not to miss.” Fraser Mills, FilmArmy

“David Cronenberg’s flat, deadpan narration brings a weird sort of star power to Ric Esther Bienstock’s exposé of black-­market organ transplants. This is horror movie material given a rigorous journalistic treatment, and it works on both a visceral and a political level.” Adam Nayman, The Grid

“This is an incredible film.” Modest Movie

"It’s the rare sort of documentary feature that serves as a potent work of sociopolitical consciousness-­raising without descending into tiresome repetition, single-­solution zealotry, or cuckoolander political fantasies. In short, it’s cinematic pedagoguery at its finest, leaving the viewer more knowledgeable, perturbed, and motivated with respect to a far-­reaching and formerly obscure issue." Andrew Wyatt, Gateway Cinephile

 

“This is a serious, superb and essential documentary that cuts through the sensationalism and hysteria surrounding its subject. It’s one of the most impressive, and incisive, works of investigative journalism I’ve seen onscreen in a long time. It’s also a virtuosic feat of story-­telling… a nuanced, analytical portrait of the fierce ethical dilemmas on both sides of the issue.” Brian D. Johnson, MacLean’s  

In Tales From the Organ Trade, Ric Bienstock reinforces her hard-earned reputation for  slipping a camera into impossible places and emerging with gut-wrenching stories of the  human condition.  She crafts her latest investigative documentary with the  punctiliousness of a surgeon’s scalpel, aiming to unravel a complex ethical quandary." Janis Cole, POV

There are those films that manage with the constraints of a theatrical running time to  genuinely shed some fractive light on a subject, illuminating not just the obvious, but the various shades of colour that a given subject represents. Ric Esther Bienstock has  crafted such a rare gem of a film… Forming a kind of James Bond-like travelogue, the  doc unfolds in both dramatically and intellectually interesting ways…[It] plays out with the drama and scope of any theatrical feature, and is well worth seeing on the big screen…This is an organ trafficking movie with heart, but it never wears it on its sleeve... It digs through the statistics and headline grabbing stories and traces back to the core of this complex issue, all while proving to be briskly entertaining…Tales From The Organ is a tale well told." Jason Gorber, Twitch

“The brilliance of Ric Bienstock’s film is its neutrality. Traveling to dark places in South East Asia and Eastern Europe to interview kidney buyers, brokers, sellers and surgeons... Bienstock captures the kind of symmetric desperation – the fatally ill and  the painfully impoverished – that fuels the trade. It is descriptive yet moving, following four people who need kidneys and talk from the heart. The film is as scrupulously evenhanded in depicting their agony as it is in presenting the often dangerous conditions under which the black market operates.” Sally Satel, The Huffington Post

“Director Ric Esther Bienstock isn’t trying to scare us with her documentary; she’s looking to force us into asking morally and ethically challenging questions. Whether you find yourself changing your beliefs on the subject or not, Bienstock’s work should be applauded for taking the time and effort to dig deeper and expose the personal tales shoved to the background in lieu of grotesque statistics and skewed morality… Bienstock is on a mission to find the truth, give the accused a voice, and show how ambiguous a concept selling one’s body parts is. There are no easy answers...” Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage


“Compelling television . . . A shocking film and unlike a drama, you know it won’t reach a neat conclusion.” Imogen Ridgway, The Evening Standard

Sex Slaves . . . plays out like an international spy thriller.” John McKay, Canadian Press

“The stuff you’d expect from a John Grisham book-turned-feature-film.” Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe

“A remarkable piece of work . . . an amazing piece of journalism with extraordinary access to the victims and the sex traffickers.” Broadcast Magazine, U.K

 

“What dominates everything tonight is one outstanding documentary. It’s horrifying, heart-breaking and, sadly, stranger than any fiction airing tonight. Sex Slaves is a journey into hell. . . an extraordinary story.” John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

“A stunning documentary.” John Dugdale, The Sunday Times

“Bienstock . . . brings conviction, ingenuity and courage to Sex Slaves.” Virginia Heffernan, The New York Times

Sex Slaves is, to Bienstock’s credit, an epic journey.” Jennifer Wells, The Toronto Star

“Powerful . . . Sex Slaves is the real thing, far more dramatic than any screenwriter could dream up.” Jim Bawden, Starweek


BOXING: IN AND OUT OF THE RING will be a welcome surprise . . . a gripping drama of lies and deceit . . . What makes the tale sing like Joe Valachi are the lead characters. This is the type of work that ties up elements in the public record, adds new ones . . . and creates a new vision.” Richard Sandomir, The New York Times

“ . . . A startling documentary. You need to see it to believe it.” Catherine Dawson March, The Globe and Mail

“. . . Compelling footage . . . [an] intriguing two-hour look at the seamy side of the sweet science.” Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated

“[A] hard-hitting study . . . shines a light on scenes not often seen by casual sports fans.” Morgan Campbell, The Toronto Star

 


“Without a doubt the most provocative shows on tonight is the cleverly named Ms. Conceptions…it is an engaging film…quick, smart and entertaining.” John Haslett Cuff, The Globe and Mail

“It is an entirely delightful film that makes its points with a brash and breezy attitude.” Tony Atherton, The Ottawa Citizen

“Brings a light touch to a heavy topic, with the happy result that Ms. Conceptions entertains as it informs.” Mike Boone, The Montreal Gazette

“Candid, quirky and poignant" Alicia Priest, The Vancouver Sun


“It makes for amazing viewing. Riveting, grueling, compelling, important and so much more. Choose your own adjective. But don’t miss it.” Bill Taylor, The Toronto Star

“Bienstock’s crew won the confidence of the locals and the international medical team and documented a dramatic battle to contain a potential plague . . . they recorded some remarkable cinema verité moments.” John McKay, Canadian Press

“Compelling . . . remarkable cinema verité moments.” The Montreal Gazette

“This provocative documentary . . . takes the viewer beyond the spin-off movie scripts and newspaper headlines with its frontline filming of real-life victims and heroes. . . The award-winning producers know how to craft a compelling story.” Cathy Garrard, Time Out – New York

“Topical and riveting . . . captures the medical mission with unparalleled intimacy and timing.” John Haslett Cuff, The Globe and Mail

“A first class piece of reporting made all the more important because most news organizations pulled out after the first few weeks.” Jim Bawden, The Toronto Star


“Eye-popping.” Bill Brioux, The Toronto Sun

“Offbeat.” Peggy Curran, The Montreal Gazette

“ . . . part social studies and part pure entertainment.” Tony Atherton, The Ottawa Citizen

“Impressive. One of the best miniseries of the new season, Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour has been consistently interesting.” Jim Bawden, The Toronto Star

“One part documentary, one part road movie and one part just fun.” Michael Posner, The Globe and Mail

“Charming.” John Doyle, The Globe and Mail