Filmed in a squatter community of Labangon in Cebu, Philippines, Holding Our Ground is the inspiring story of a group of women who have organized collectively to pressure their government for land reform, to establish their own money-lending system and to create shelters for street kids. A story of grassroots organizing that can be a model in both hemispheres.
Women have always sought ways to terminate unwanted pregnancies, despite powerful patriarchal structures and systems working against them. This film provides a historical overview of how church, state and the medical establishment have determined policies concerning abortion. From this cross-cultural survey--filmed in Ireland, Japan, Thailand, Peru, Colombia, and Canada--emerges one reality: only a small percentage of the world's women has access to safe, legal operations.
Between March and October 2000, millions of people around the world took to the streets to denounce poverty and violence against women. The historic World March of Women was a bold initiative of the Québec Federation of Women and represented a turning point in global solidarity.
Director Sophie Bissonnette invited five filmmakers from around the world to cover the march. She also asked each one to film an innovative project. In Senegal a community battles female genital mutilation through education. In Australia a women's circus teaches survivors of sexual assault to become skilled performers. In India a group of low-caste women mediate domestic disputes in informal women's courts. Native women in Ecuador offer leadership training programs to create women leaders. In the United States, Linda Carney describes why she founded Survival Inc. for poor women in Boston: this wealthy city refused her and her son welfare benefits unless she quit her minimum-wage job.
Set against the backdrop of a song, A Score for Women's Voices ends at the UN, where women deliver 5 million cards signed during the marches. Their goal? To change the world!
Made in 1975, as part of the Challenge for Change program, this film takes a long, hard look at marriage and motherhood as expressed in the views of a group of young girls and married women. Their opinions cover a wide range. At regular intervals glossy advertisements extolling romance, weddings, babies, flash across the screen, in strong contrast to the words that are being spoken. The film ends on a sobering thought: the solution to dashed expectations could be as simple as growing up before marriage.
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.
Inspired by the people and landscape of Colombia's Banana Zone, Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez created the Buendia family and the village of Macondo, placing them at the centre of his acclaimed novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Among the events described in Marquez' novel is the 1928 Banana Strike and the subsequent murder of 3 000 banana workers by the Colombian Army. My Macondo sets out in search of Marquez' legendary village and the truth behind that incident. Is the fictional village of Macondo a real place with a real history? Did the slaughter of the strikers actually take place? In trying to answer these questions, My Macondo explores the nature of history and myth, and poses questions about fiction and truth.
In a city the size of Montreal with thousands and thousands of motorized vehicles, traffic problems are difficult to solve. Here is a panorama of such problems. This film includes an interview with Mayor Jean Drapeau, when Montreal was still the metropolis of Canada.
I Am Skylar is the emotionally compelling story of an articulate 14-year-old girl who is thoughtfully defining her future and the woman she is to become. Surrounded by a family and a community who show her unconditional love as she follows her personal path, Skylar faces the complexities of being a transgender girl on the cusp of puberty with refreshing honesty and unshakeable dignity.
An amusing diagnosis of big-city growing pains, Boomsville is an ironic view of town planning, or rather, the lack of it, and what has happened to our cities as a result. Done in cartoon animation, the film traces the growth of the typical city, from a tiny settlement in the vast North American wilderness to the car-clogged metropolis that so many cities are today. Film without words.
The Spirit of Tibet is an intimate glimpse into the life and world of one of Tibet's most revered 20th-century teachers: Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991). A writer, poet and meditation master, Khyentse Rinpoche was an inspiration to all who encountered him. His many students throughout the world included the Dalai Lama. This unique portrait tells Khyentse Rinpoche's story from birth to death... to rebirth--from his escape following China's invasion of Tibet to his determination to preserve and transmit Buddhist teachings far and wide. His life leads us on a journey revealing the wonders of Tibet's art, ritual, philosophy and sacred dance. Along with rarely photographed areas of Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, this film features interviews with the Dalai Lama, who speaks candidly about his own spiritual life. Director Matthieu Ricard--noted French photographer, Buddhist monk and best-selling author--travelled with Khyentse Rinpoche for over 14 years.