Indigenous youth, led by Duke Redbird, argue their ideas against the blunt pragmatism of American activist and writer Saul Alinksy. Author of the book “Rules for Radicals”, Alinsky is widely considered the father of community organizing who spent his life advocating for improved living conditions in poor communities across the United States. In this impassioned debate, the young activists question the corrupting influence of power, and ask why Indigenous people cannot live traditionally and peacefully on the land. Alinsky responds, “You have got to be part of the world in order to change it. You are not going to make any changes by staying in your corner.” In Alinsky’s view, equality only happens when the disenfranchised have the strength to show the ruling powers that it will be more costly for them to withhold it. Encounter with Saul Alinksy offers fascinating insights into a conversation about power and activism that has lasting resonance today.
In this feature documentary, American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky goes to war against the conditions that keep the poor in poverty. The film shows how he helped Black ghettos in the United States find an effective, non-violent method of fighting for their rights.
This documentary follows a community action group led by American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky in Rochester, New York. Together, they confront the community's largest employer on the issue of corporate responsibility and the employment of minority groups.
This documentary short captures a lively confrontation between the American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky, and members of the Company of Young Canadians (CYC). Among other topics, the parties argue and disagree about the means and costs of securing social change.
Far from home and cut off from family and friends, Montreal’s Indigenous homeless population is the focus of No Address. Dreams of a better life in the big city can be met with harsh realities, as the individuals in this documentary recount. Often trying to flee circumstances created by colonialism and the effects of assimilation, the First Nations and Inuit people in this work share frank stories about their lives and the paths that took them to the streets of Montreal. Alanis Obomsawin presents an honest, stark portrayal of endemic homelessness while giving voice to those so often overlooked or made invisible on the streets of every city in Canada.
In July 1990, a dispute over a proposed golf course to be built on Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) lands in Oka, Quebec, set the stage for a historic confrontation that would grab international headlines and sear itself into the Canadian consciousness. Director Alanis Obomsawin—at times with a small crew, at times alone—spent 78 days behind Kanien’kéhaka lines filming the armed standoff between protestors, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. Released in 1993, this landmark documentary has been seen around the world, winning over a dozen international awards and making history at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it became the first documentary ever to win the Best Canadian Feature award. Jesse Wente, Director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, has called it a “watershed film in the history of First Peoples cinema.”
The film is about Moses Coady, who was called many things in his lifetime, but who proved to be the most effective social reformer Canada has known. He went into the villages, organized the people into study groups, helped them set up credit unions and co-operatives, and freed them from the semi-feudal conditions they lived in. Today, people from all over the world come to study his methods at the Coady International Institute in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
In this documentary, striking political science students concerned with the democratization of their university occupy the offices of the Political Science Department at McGill University. The issue: greater student control over the hiring of faculty. The film crew lives with the students and follows their action through confusion, argument, dissent, and negotiations with faculty. The result is an intimate view of a student political action.
This short film portrays the experiences of Rhonda Gordon and her daughter, Angela, when a simple bus ride changes their lives in an unforeseeable way. When they are harassed by three boys, Rhonda finds the courage to take a unique and powerful stance against ignorance and prejudice. What ensues is a dramatic story of racism and empowerment.
This short film was an experiment in using video recordings and closed circuit television to stimulate social action in a poor Montreal neighbourhood. A citizen's committee filmed people's concerns and then played back the tapes for the community. Upon recognizing their common problems, people began to talk about joint solutions. It proved an important and effective method of promoting social change.