2000 à 2001. Pendant 6 ans, les Élias et les Petrov ont tout fait pour comprendre l'âme de leur pays d'accueil et accéder à l'indépendance économique. Ils sont désormais citoyens canadiens. Mais le pays qui les a vu naître demeure inscrit en eux. Il suffit d'un retour aux sources pour que les uns et les autres renouent avec un passé à la fois rassurant et douloureux. Il y a, bien sûr, les retrouvailles avec la famille et les amis, mais il faut aussi se confronter à la réalité d'un pays encore meurtri par les années de guerre ou de dictature. C'est aussi pour les parents l'occasion de transmettre aux enfants la fierté de leurs origines, même si l'écart se creuse entre les deux générations. Revenues au Québec, les deux familles emménagent dans la maison qu'elles viennent d'acheter. Est-ce là le signe d'un enracinement en profondeur? Seul l'avenir nous le dira vraiment.
This short documentary tells the intensely personal story of Namrata Gill – one of the many real-life inspirations for Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth – in her own words. After six years, Gill courageously leaves an abusive relationship and launches a surprising new career.
In Handmade Mountain, Michèle Pearson Clarke explores the emotional fallout of being both early to gay marriage and early to gay divorce. Fifteen years after same-sex marriage became legal, she and friends reflect on its personal and political meaning in this experimental film.
This short documentary profiles Ukrainian-Canadian Ted Baryluk, whose grocery store has been a fixture in Winnipeg's North End for over 20 years. In this photo study, Ted talks about his store, the customers who have come and gone and the social changes his multicultural neighbourhood has seen. But most of all he wonders what will become of his store after he retires. He hopes his daughter will take over, but she wants to move away. The film is a wistful rendering of a shopkeeper's relationship with his daughter and a fascinating portrait of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants.
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 documentary recounts filmmaker Pierre Sidaoui’s immigration journey from the small Lebanese town of Abey to Montreal, the city he now calls home. Sidaoui had a carefree childhood, but civil war forced him and his family to flee Lebanon in 1982, the first in a series of moves that would ultimately separate him from his parents, brother and sisters. Two decades later, Sidaoui pauses to reflect. His precious family photos, carefully kept in a shoebox, bring forth a flood of memories - of family, landscapes, music and war. A touching meditation on the pursuit of happiness and the immigrant experience.
Just a stone’s throw from downtown Montreal is the largest social housing complex in Quebec. Built in 1959 where the red-light district used to be, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance have retained something of the area’s seedy reputation for poverty, prostitution, drugs and violence. But who really knows the projects and the people who live there? Delving beneath the prejudices and stereotypes, director Isabelle Longtin ventured inside the buildings and met the residents. The result is The Downtown Project, a documentary that reveals a complex multi-ethnic reality made up of compelling personal stories and social movements.
In this animated short, a young girl and her father move from China to Canada, bringing only their Chinese violin along for the journey. As they face the challenge of starting fresh in a new place, the music of the violin connects them to the life they left behind and guides the girl towards a musical future.
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.
They believed they were creating a household and living a new life, but they were humiliated and tormented. What Fadhila and Roula have in common is that they're women, Arab, immigrants and have been sexually assaulted by their husbands. In order to break down the walls of silence, they have bravely chosen to tell their stories. Their accounts are complemented by discussions in Montreal with women's social workers, members of the Arab community and a lawyer specializing in Canadian immigration. To the sound of the melodies beautifully sung by the diva Aïcha Redouane, the film considers the question of unfamiliar cultural values and women's rights in the current social context. In French with English subtitles.
This is a look at the daily life of a young couple. Both wife and husband suffer from cerebral palsy. Although every movement is made with effort, and every day is a struggle, they choose, instead of dependence on others, to marry, to have a child and to derive strength and courage from each other. By showing their problems, their needs and their hopes, this film reaches out for greater public understanding and acceptance of the physically disabled in our midst.
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.
When 16-year-old Jean-Luc Battuz met Lonnie and Theresa Selam's family on the Yakima Reservation in Washington State, he immediately felt he was where he belonged. Over a decade later they would adopt him as their son, and he would move to British Columbia in order to live near them. Though he is white and European, Jean-Luc's affinity with the spiritual values of North American Native cultures drew him into a relationship with the Selam family. French Man, Native Son recounts the unique exchange between Jean-Luc, now 28, and his adoptive parents. He will always retain his original heritage, even while actively participating in the life, responsibilities, and traditions of the family who have welcomed him into their lives.