This documentary travels the migration corridor forged between Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the town of Brooks, Alberta, by French-speaking Africans. Most have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, some by way of refugee camps in Uganda and Tanzania. Unable to find employment in Quebec, they travelled out West. An interweaving of personal stories and the filmmaker’s own trips back and forth through the corridor offer an honest look at how much work is yet to be done to successfully integrate these newcomers.
This feature documentary paints an engaging portrait of Oumar, an auto mechanic from Burkina Faso. Always ready to lend a helping hand, Oumar has become a vital, central part of his community, in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood. People tend to gather round as he works, and talk often turns to weighty issues: feminism, polygamy, politics, religion. In eight months’ time, he is due to return for a visit with his family after six years away, so he is searching for hundreds of presents to take with him. Back home, when you leave the nest, it’s to look for wealth. Otherwise, failure awaits…
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
Over the course of a decade Brooks, Alberta, transformed from a socially conservative, primarily white town to one of the most diverse places in Canada as immigrants and refugees flocked to find jobs at the Lakeside Packers slaughterhouse. This film is a portrait of those people working together and adapting to change through the first-ever strike at Lakeside.
In this short documentary, three French-speaking women (from Senegal, Mexico and Belgium) examine their own experiences as immigrants in Vancouver, where they raise their children alone. With strength and resilience, these women take up the challenge of rebuilding their lives to provide a “new world of possibility” for their children, while seeking to find their place in Canadian society.
This film was made as part of the Tremplin program, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.
Anne Marie Nakagawa's documentary examines what it means to have a background of mixed ancestries that cannot be easily categorized. By focusing on 7 Canadians who have one parent from a European background and one of a visible minority, she attempts to get at the root of what it means to be multi-ethnic in a world that wants each person to fit into a single category.
Finding a satisfactory frame of reference in our 'multicultural utopia' turns out to be more complex than one might think. Between: Living in the Hyphen offers a provocative glimpse of what the future holds: a departure from hyphenated names towards a celebration of fluidity and being mixed.
This documentary paints a picture of Arab men that is vastly different from what we’re accustomed to. In this antidote to mainstream-media depictions of Arabs as terrorists and extremists, we get to meet Jay, Ghassan and their friends, who gather at Jamal’s Eden Barber Shop to discuss politics, religion and family over a cut and a shave. Often funny, sometimes sad, this engaging film documents the challenges these men face integrating into Canadian life while preserving their identity and culture.
Director Mina Shum makes her foray into feature documentary by reopening the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations – the infamous Sir George Williams Riot. Over four decades after a group of Caribbean students accused their professor of racism, triggering an explosive student uprising, Shum locates the protagonists and listens as they set the record straight, trying to make peace with the past.
This full-length documentary tells the story of 2 Afghans who return to Afghanistan in search of their families after a 16-year exile. Like many Afghan children, Soorgul and Amir were sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the civil wars that broke out on both sides of the border left the children stranded, unable to leave the country until Canada accepted them as refugees.
The Sweetest Embrace tells an intimate story set against one of the world's most harsh and yet beautiful landscapes, in a land where life has been shaped by war and hardship but where spirit remains resilient.
This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.
In their predominantly white high school in Halifax, a group of black students face daily reminders of racism, ranging from abuse (racist graffiti on washroom walls), to exclusion (the omission of black history from textbooks). They work to establish a Cultural Awareness Youth Group, a vehicle for building pride and self-esteem through educational and cultural programs. With help from mentors, they discover the richness of their heritage and learn some of the ways they can begin to effect change.
Ages 14 to 18
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World