The exile of the Jewish people from their homeland following the destruction of the Second Temple has long played a central role in Christian and Jewish theology, and it has been a critical issue in the struggle over land in the Middle East. This provocative documentary asks what it would mean if that exile never happened. Exile travels from Sepphoris to Masada, from Jerusalem to the catacombs of Rome, and features interviews with leading historians and archaeologists. The film points to new evidence from Galilee and elsewhere, and asks us to re-think the notion of exile--and perhaps to discover a richer and more diverse past than we had ever imagined.
Scared Sacred is a feature documentary that asks the question: Can we be Scared into the Sacred? The film takes us on a journey to the pivotal ground zeros of the world, places like Bosnia, Hiroshima, New York City and Afghanistan in search of stories of hope and meaning.
This documentary portrays the front-line street workers who serve the needy under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. One of the world's largest social agencies, the Army is a religious institution that serves the practical needs of people first, believing that religion is of no use to anyone who is hungry, homeless and hopeless.
Join filmmaker Rosemary House as she peers into the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the street – those who help and those who need help. Shot in Toronto at Christmastime, the film chronicles the small hopes and tiny victories of life lived below the poverty line and the daily rewards for those who work to serve others.
This short animation is director Ann Marie Fleming’s animated adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein’s acclaimed illustrated memoir. Using the healing power of humour, the film probes the taboos around a very particular second-hand trauma, leading us to a more universal understanding of human experience. The film sensitively explores identity and loss through the audacious proposition that the Holocaust is addictive and defining.
In 2013, an ancient statue of Apollo was found in the waters off Gaza—before disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Is it the work of forgers, or a gift from the gods to a Palestinian people desperately in need of hope? Soon the rumours start to swirl, while behind the scenes local and international players start jostling—some driven by historical preservation and others by purely commercial interests. Filmed in Gaza and Jerusalem, The Apollo of Gaza plays out like a mystery built around a national treasure that is the stuff of dreams. The Apollo of Gaza is an engaging reflection on the passage of time and the fragility of civilizations, as well as a poetic and philosophical meditation that immerses us in the often-misunderstood realities of life in a place that continues to pay a heavy price for the seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict—a place where life doggedly carries on, resisting. Like a meteor streaking across the sky, the statue of Apollo brings a moment of light and beauty to Gaza. Can it help restore dignity to a people, revealing a glorious history and fostering pride in a nation often misrepresented and demeaned?
This documentary reveals the exploratory work of a team from the University of Montreal who seek to understand the states of grace experienced by mystics and those who meditate. Filmmaker Isabelle Raynauld offers up scientific research that suggests that mystical ecstasy is a transformative experience and could contribute to people's psychic and physical health, treat depression and speed up the healing process when combined with conventional medicine. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is "a wretched anxiety and an existential terror" even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die - to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.
Muslim women are disconcerting, intriguing, polarizing—and straitjacketed by conflations of ideas in front-page stories. While the media tend to portray them as submissive and silenced, filmmaker Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski has chosen to distance herself from that caricature, with which she does not identify. She sat down with six Muslim Canadian women eager to talk about what shapes their identities. The resulting documentary, In Full Voice, offers an intimate perspective on the journey of these women, who have a common desire to share their visions of Islam.
This short animation is a remarkably vivid account of the 1914 tragedy in which 132 men were stranded on the ice during a severe snowstorm off the coast of Newfoundland. 78 men froze to death on the pack ice. In the spring of 1914, the last of the wooden seal hunting ships in a steel-dominated industry was the Newfoundland, manned by men from across the province. The ship was unable to reach a seal pack due to its lack of ice-breaking power, and 132 men were ordered off the boat and onto the ice to hunt. The ship had no radio equipment, and the men spent two unbearable nights on the ice. Survivor testimony, striking archival materials, weather visualizations, inventive animation and puppetry are seamlessly blended to recreate this harrowing ordeal.
Blending fantasy and reality, this animated short is a bold inquiry into an as yet unresolved problem - the nature of human identity. When a scientist creates a machine that can make copies of physical objects, including humans, a number of ethical questions arise. Is the technique moral? What of its safety? A film by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Weldon (who also wrote the catchy banjo tune that punctuates the story's changing moods).
These vignettes from 1949 cover various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Subjects included here are: Man-Made Niagara: the construction of the Des Joachims hydro plant on the Ottawa River adds to Ontario's power resources. Irrigation Revitalizes Dust Bowl: In the southern Alberta drylands, the St. Mary's River is being harnessed to provide life-giving irrigation for prairie crops. Underwater Harvest: Lobster season in New Brunswick provides choice seafoods for epicurean tables.
Filmed in the Indian Himalayas and in Canada, A Song for Tibet tells the dramatic story of the efforts by Tibetans in exile, including the Dalai Lama, to save their homeland and preserve their heritage against overwhelming odds. Since the invasion of their territory by China in the late 1950s, Tibetans have been struggling for cultural and political survival.