An investigation into how language is changing in the age of COVID-19. The complete upheaval of social relationships today is leading to the reinterpretation of certain terms, which have suddenly taken on a fatal connotation. This film is a funeral mass in memory of the word “contact.”
The shore of a lake. A dam. Myriad testimonials that go right over our heads, just like everything else. Camped out in his car, a filmmaker stares out at the landscape through the raindrops coating the windows. Encounters emerge one by one. Voices multiply, at times validating each other, later contradictory. The filmmaker moves from worry to optimism. Only one question remains: Is there a right answer?
Shot in Montreal over a four-month period, from May to September 2020, Jules’ Impossible Summer charts the evolving relationship between the filmmaker and her 19-year-old son through 15 redundant conversations about the importance—or the impossibility, depending on the point of view—of following the health restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
Marguerite Paquin lives in a seniors’ home where 14 nuns from her religious congregation have succumbed to COVID-19. The film takes us from the grandeur of the landscapes of Côte-Nord, Quebec, where Marguerite has worked for 47 years, into the room where she sits confined today, finding a sort of liberation through prayer and unshakeable solidarity with her sisters who are suffering.
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.
In conversations with passionate sociologist and political thinker Jean Pichette, the filmmaker views the forced downtime stemming from the current crisis as an opportunity to rethink our modes of existence and our relationship to others, nature, science, the economy, art, politics—in short, everything that makes us human.
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.
On March 2, 2004, Bernard Lord's Conservative government announces that the hospital in Caraquet, New Brunswick, will be converted to a community health centre. Considering the government's decision unfair, the people of the region rally to save the health care services to which they feel entitled. Despite their year-and-a-half-long struggle, the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus is closed. In recording the chronology of the events, Renée Blanchar plunges into the heart of the action with an urgent need to speak out against injustice. The result is a very human film about solidarity. In French with English subtitles.
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.
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.
More than a decade after the worldwide financial crisis of 2007–08, what does globalization mean today? Filmmaker-philosopher Jean-Daniel Lafond takes us behind the scenes of the International Economic Forum of the Americas, a massive annual gathering at which economists, financiers and politicians hold forth on the key issues of the day. Featuring first-hand testimonials by nearly two dozen influential men and women, The End of Certainties unfolds as a multi-voice meditation on the state of the world. This observational documentary offers a cogent assessment of globalization—and its ideals, disillusionment, fears and hopes—and the quest for a new humanism, characterized by greater inclusiveness and fairness.
This animated short follows an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. The film is the Canadian contribution to an hour-long feature film celebrating UNESCO's Year of the Child (1979). It illustrates one of the ten principles of the Declaration of Children's Rights: every child is entitled to a name and a nationality. The film took home an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film.
Ages 16 to 18
Civics/Citizenship - Ideologies
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Health/Personal Development - Disease Prevention
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Short documentary that’s part of The Curve, a series about life during the pandemic. A melancholy meditation on the loss of the meaning of the word “contact.” Ideal as an introduction to a Creative Writing poetry project about expressing the deeper feelings of loss felt in everyone’s lives during the pandemic. Write a list of words whose meaning has changed since the start of the pandemic, and use a few of those words to describe how you feel about the changes you are experiencing.