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Speakers for the Dead

David Sutherland & Jennifer Holness
2000 | 49 min
This documentary reveals some of the hidden history of Blacks in Canada. In the 1930s in rural Ontario, a farmer buried the tombstones of a Black cemetery to make way for a potato patch. In the 1980s, descendants of the original settlers, Black and White, came together to restore the cemetery, but there were hidden truths no one wanted to discuss. Deep racial wounds were opened. Scenes of the cemetery excavation, interviews with residents and re-enactments—including one of a baseball game where a broken headstone is used for home plate—add to the film's emotional intensity.

Awards and distinctions

  • Chantal-Lapaire Award given. by Tele Quebec (ex aequo with Ame Noire / Black Soul by Martine Chartrand) - with cash prize of 1,000$ (500,00$ each winner)
    VUES D'AFRIQUE / African and Creole Film Festival, Montréal
    2001