Peut-on déraciner un arbre et le replanter dans une nouvelle terre, un nouveau monde? Quatre exilés qui ont trouvé refuge à Montréal, des hommes et des femmes qui arrivent de l'Iran, de la Bosnie, du Burundi et de l'Algérie doivent faire face au déracinement et se redéfinir. Comment y parviennent-ils? Les différentes épreuves à affronter et leur vie à refaire sont autant de pas nécessaires à la traversée de l'exil. Par diverses approches cinématographiques -- archives, reconstitutions et animation --, nous sommes invités à les suivre afin de mieux comprendre leur passage.
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.
This 1996 documentary takes a nostalgic ride through history to present the experiences of Black sleeping-car porters who worked on Canada's railways from the early 1900s through the 1960s. There was a strong sense of pride among these men and they were well-respected by their community. Yet, harsh working conditions prevented them from being promoted to other railway jobs until finally, in 1955, porter Lee Williams took his fight to the union.
Claiming discrimination under the Canada Fair Employment Act, the Black workers won their right to work in other areas. Interviews, archival footage and the music of noted jazz musician Joe Sealy (whose father was a porter) combine to portray a fascinating history that might otherwise have been forgotten.
Exploring the question of Armenian identity, My Son Shall Be Armenian follows filmmaker Hagop Goudsouzian, who travels with five Montreal men and women of Armenian descent to the land of his ancestors in search of survivors of the 1915 genocide. Through interviews with elders and the touching accounts of his fellow travellers, Goudsouzian has crafted a dignified and poignant film on the need to make peace with the past in order to turn toward the future. In French with English subtitles.
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 features Black women active in politics as well as community, labour and feminist organizing. They share their insights and personal testimonies on the double legacy of racism and sexism, linking their personal struggles with the ongoing battle to end systemic discrimination and violence against women and people of colour.
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.
Being young is tough, especially if you're Black, Latino, Arab or Asian. In a city like Montreal, you can get targeted and treated as a criminal for no good reason. Zero Tolerance reveals how deep seated prejudice can be. On one side are the city's young people, and on the other, its police force. Two worlds, two visions. Yet one of these groups is a minority, while the other wields real power. One has no voice, while the other makes life-and-death decisions.
When a policy of zero tolerance to crime masks an intolerance to young people of colour, the delicate balance between order and personal freedom is upset. A blend of cinéma vérité and personal testimonies, this hard-hitting film will broaden your mind and change your way of thinking. In French with English subtitles.
This feature documentary zooms in on Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges borough, where over 75 ethnic groups live side by side in a dizzying swirl of sound and colour. One day, filmmaker Lucie Lachapelle began knocking on the doors that isolated her from her neighbours. The result is a vibrant film about freedom and uprootedness set to urban music composed by Montreal jazz artist Harold Faustin.