A young Japanese-Canadian businessman, now established in Montréal, recalls the time during World War II when the Japanese-Canadian community of Canada's west coast was uprooted and moved inland. There are some flashbacks to the events he describes, but the film is mainly about his home and family life in Montréal and his successful career as a chemical engineer.
Some dreamers have the power to inspire us, bring us together, and help us reconnect with our humanity. Alain Philoctète, a Haitian artist and activist who settled in Quebec, returns to the country of his birth to develop a permaculture project with local farmers. There, he has an emotional reunion with family members and his former comrades in arms, whose ideals remain unshaken despite the lingering aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and political instability. However, Alain, who is suffering from cancer, has to undergo treatment in Montreal, where his loved ones provide the same degree of affection and solidarity as he receives in Haiti. Director Will Prosper films this inspiring dreamer on his hopeful quest, chronicling the challenges of exile and illness with the personal, knowing touch of a longtime friend. With a rich score composed by Jenny Salgado, Kenbe la, Until We Win offers a cinematic journey that will move viewers to ponder the importance of embracing ideals and passing them on.
As the world learns to live again in the midst of the pandemic, for many Arabic-speaking LGBTQ+ people living in Montreal, this is just a period of time like any other. When you’ve fled homophobic violence in your home country and endured a painful migratory journey, or you still face social prejudices stemming from intercultural and intergenerational conflicts, surviving social isolation is nothing new.
A little good will goes a long way--between persons, and between nations. That is the lesson to be learned from this animated film. It begins with a confrontation between a man who grows flowers and a technologist who operates computers. A flower pops up in the computer room; a computer tape appears in the garden. Each man destroys the "foreign object." When they come face to face they discover that understanding is better than distrust, respect better than hostility.
Many Black, racialized and immigrant women work with elderly patients as healthcare providers. Their jobs, already arduous and underpaid as it is, have become even more exhausting during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some public commentators have described them as overrepresented in this sector because of their culture, and hailed them as “guardian angels,” what do they themselves have to say? This cross-sectional portrait of some of these women takes the form of a meditative essay.
This documentary tells the personal story of filmmaker Jari Osborne's father, a Chinese-Canadian veteran. She describes her father's involvement in World War II and uncovers a legacy of discrimination and racism against British Columbia's Chinese-Canadian community. Sworn to secrecy for decades, Osborne's father and his war buddies now vividly recall their top-secret missions behind enemy lines in Southeast Asia. Theirs is a tale of young men proudly fighting for a country that had mistreated them. This film does more than reveal an important period in Canadian history. It pays moving tribute to a father's quiet heroism.
In a documentary that spans two continents and several generations, acclaimed director John Paskievich delves into the experience of exile and its impact on the human spirit.
Almost fifty years after his family fled Ukraine for freedom in Canada, the filmmaker visits his parents' homeland. It's a place both familiar and foreign. Drawing on his years growing up in Winnipeg, Paskievich explores how children of refugees and immigrants are caught between two worlds. While they struggle to put down roots in a new country, they must also preserve traditions of a distant land they have never known.
Paskievich's journey through Ukraine is interwoven with stories of displacement from other prominent Ukrainian Canadians--authors George Melnyk and Fran Ponomarenko, filmmaker Bohdana Bashuk, director Halya Kuchmij and dancer Lecia Polujan. A rich tapestry of memory and history, My Mother's Village brings to light the humour, anger, joy and complexity of living between borders.
This documentary is the story of two Mennonite brothers from Manitoba who were forced to make a decision in 1939, as Canada joined World War II. In the face of 400 years of pacifist tradition, should they now go to war? Ted became a conscientious objector while his brother went into military service. Fifty years later, the town of Winkler dedicates its first war memorial and John begins to share his war experiences with Ted.
This short animation tells the story of Saoussan, a young girl struggling to adjust to life in Canada after being uprooted from her wartorn homeland. She has come to seek a quieter and safer life, although memories of war and death linger, memories that are awakened when the children at her new school prepare for a scary Halloween. From Far Away speaks to the power within us all to adapt like Saoussan and to welcome a newcomer.
Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
Even at a frail 90, Martha Katz has an impish energy that remains undiminished. She chides grandson-filmmaker Daniel Schubert over his choice of shirt during a visit to her Los Angeles home, but there’s trauma beneath the humour. At 14, Martha and her family were torn from their village in Czechoslovakia and shipped to Auschwitz. A visit to a Holocaust museum ignites painful memories, including a haunting personal encounter with one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious figures. For Martha, however, the emphasis is on a tough but rewarding postwar life in Winnipeg, which she fondly recalls in this warm, intimate portrait of an unrelenting survivor.
Hibakusha is the Japanese word for the survivors of the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This powerful and moving documentary focuses on a few of the eighty hibakusha who journeyed from Japan to New York in June, 1982, to take part in peace demonstrations held to coincide with the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. They came to urge the nations of the world to prevent nuclear war. Instead of concentrating on the physical suffering of the victims, the film reveals the mental anguish of the hibakusha, who are still haunted by nightmares.