A moving and graphic portrait of the people of wartorn Beirut in their day-to-day struggle to survive in the rubble and despair. Filmed shortly after the 1982 massacres at Sabra and Chatila, the film gives a vivid picture of the plight of these people and of any people who are too poor to escape the ravages of war.
This feature-length film introduces viewers to Soraida, a Palestinian woman who lives in Ramallah. In her neighbourhood the women do not all wear veils, the men do not rattle off empty political slogans, the young people do not strap bombs to their belts, and the children play together like kids everywhere. Taking us into the daily existence of Soraida, her family and neighbours, the film compels us to ask fundamental questions about life in the Middle East.
This documentary is about Canadian artist Deryk Houston, who in 1999, had a life-altering journey to Baghdad. Unable to remain an outside observer of the crisis in Iraq, Deryk travelled to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people. Compelled to speak out, the artist embarked upon a unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq. Using rocks, gravel and hay, Deryk began to create large-scale art installations in the image of a mother and child against diverse landscapes around the world.
Filmmaker Paul Émile d'Entremont's documentary presents Reema, a lively and sensitive young girl confronted with difficult questions about her identity. After spending the first 16 years of her life with her Canadian mother, Reema re-connects with her Iraqi father by spending 2 months with him in Jordan. On returning home to Nova Scotia, she realizes she will always have a double identity, and that it is both a burden and a treasure.
This autobiographical documentary revisits the Mau Mau Rebellion of the 1950s. More than 50 years after the conflict, in which the director participated as a young British soldier stationed in Kenya for his national service, he confronts his past with audacity and unflinching self-inquiry.
Combining McWilliams' own photographic record of the times with original animation and archival imagery, A Time There Was crafts a thoughtful account of the Mau Mau Rebellion – one of the most contentious episodes in Britain’s imperial endgame.
Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
In this documentary, we hear directly from francophone soldiers serving in the Royal 22e Régiment (known in English as “Van Doos”) who were filmed in the field in March 2011, during their deployment to Afghanistan. They speak simply and directly about their work, whether on patrol or performing their duties at the base. The film's images and interviews bring home the complexity of the issues on the ground and shed light on the little-understood experiences of the men and women who served in Afghanistan.
This full-length documentary tells the story of 2 Afghans who return to Afghanistan in search of their families after a 16-year exile. Like many Afghan children, Soorgul and Amir were sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the civil wars that broke out on both sides of the border left the children stranded, unable to leave the country until Canada accepted them as refugees.
The Sweetest Embrace tells an intimate story set against one of the world's most harsh and yet beautiful landscapes, in a land where life has been shaped by war and hardship but where spirit remains resilient.
On September 9, 2002, a scheduled appearance by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked heated debate at Montreal's Concordia University. By the end of the day, the "Concordia riot" had made international news, from CNN to Al-Jazeera. This film documents the fallout from that eventful day, following three young campus activists as they negotiate the most formative year of their lives. Filmmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal jump into the fray with street-smart bravado and a handheld camera. Buoyed by the songs of hip-hop artist Buck 65, this film offers a tonic reflection on the current state of Canadian student activism and the enduring value of tolerance.
This documentary gives us a glimpse inside the influential but little-known community of Vancouver’s Hong Kong Chinese. Prejudices fall by the wayside as we discover the community's way of life and the vital role it plays in the Canadian and world economy through a moving, intimate portrait of the Lam family, who arrived here in 1991.
Ages 16 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Ask students to choose one of the people who speak in the film. After viewing it, have them write a letter to that person expressing how they felt about them as they listened to their words, and asking the questions that the film raised. They can conclude with an encouraging word and a commitment to taking a concrete action toward peace in their own community.