| 30 min

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This drama portrays an immigrant family and the mingled feelings of hope and despair that characterize their life in a strange land. An Italian wife joins her husband in a large Canadian city. After two years in Canada the husband feels his dream of a better life is close to realization, but his wife feels that differences of language and custom are insurmountable. How such feelings are dispelled by simple gestures of friendship from Canadian-born neighbours gives a heartening conclusion to the film.

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Arrival, Donald Ginsberg, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    Donald Ginsberg
  • producer
    David Bairstow
  • associate producer
    Blanche Markle
  • script
    Charles E. Israel
  • photography
    John Gunn
  • sound
    Frank Orban
  • editing
    Martin Defalco
  • sound editing
    Bernard Bordeleau
  • cast
    Gerry Sarracini
    Hildegarde Rossi

  • GeorgeOM

    Confessor: As a native of Toronto with European roots I think I may be able to shed some light. Having lived in other parts of the world, urban and rural, I´m convinced the key to understanding this phenomenon is understanding the cultural and historic context in which Toronto was founded i.e the Victorian culture of the 19th century. All immigrant groups bring with them their language/culture which they try to preserve in their new countries as a means of maintaining their identity while the language/culture in the places of origin evolves and moves on. Victorian England evolved into what it is today, while the original British immigrants to Canada attempted to maintain the staid, unemotional, formality of Victorian England and taught those values to their children and grandchildren. In 19th century England, smiling and friendliness were eschewed in favor of prudishness and distance in interpersonal relations. A few generations later, the English culture no longer adheres to Victorian norms, but the descendants, only 3 or 4 generations hence, still (likely) unknowingly behave in the ways that resemble the staid manners of their Victorian forefathers.

    GeorgeOM, 26 Jun 2014
  • Confessor

    Funny. I live in an apartment building in Toronto, and am regularly disgusted by the way that people who live in the next apartment or just down the hall, completely ignore me/one another. It's truly shameful. Yesterday, I locked my apartment and walked to the elevator, just as another fellow down the hall was doing the same. I waited for him to look at me so that I could smile and say hello. He refused to make eye contact. I grew up in Victoria, and recently visited family there. As I was walking through a parking lot, a complete stranger said "hello". What's the difference?; the size of the city?

    Confessor, 17 Jun 2010

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