Raising kids in this society is an often daunting task. Each of us has different reasons about why we choose--or don't choose--to be parents. Participants discuss their parent-child relationships, single parenting by choice, homosexual or lesbian parents, and teenage parenting.
In community archives across British Columbia, local knowledge keepers are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it.
Richard Cardinal died by his own hand at the age of 17, having spent most of his life in a string of foster homes and shelters across Alberta. In this short documentary, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin weaves excerpts from Richard’s diary into a powerful tribute to his short life. Released in 1984—decades before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—the film exposed the systemic neglect and mistreatment of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare system. Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 1986 American Indian Film Festival, the film screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2008 as part of an Obomsawin retrospective, and continues to be shown around the world.
This inspiring film is the story of how one woman has come to terms with her life as a survivor of incest. Sexually abused by her father from infancy to early adolescence, Shirley Turcotte is now in her thirties and has succeeded in building a rich and full life. In To a Safer Place, Shirley takes a further step to reconcile her past and present. The film accompanies her as she returns to the people and places of her childhood. Her mother, brothers and sister, all of whom were also caught up in the cycle of family violence, openly share their thoughts. Their frank disclosures will encourage survivors of incest to break through the silence and betrayal to recover and develop a sense of self-worth and dignity.
This short documentary profiles a variety of individuals and families who have dealt with the death of a loved one. These people—parents, children, siblings, partners, friends—candidly share their experiences of negotiating a new relationship with life after losing a loved one. Hailing from different cultural backgrounds, the people in this film hope their stories will allow others to begin expressing and understanding their own grief. They speak about the pain and powerful emotions they have experienced, about their need to reassess values and relationships after a death, and about the ways they have found to survive their loss. Recognizing that there is no single or easy path to recovery, this film can act as a thorough, sincere, and helpful resource for those in grief.
In this short film, artist Jobie Weetaluktuk turns his gaze on his family and the power of ritual through the story of a young woman and her unplanned child.In Inukjuak, an Inuit community in the Eastern Arctic, a baby boy has come into the world and they call him Timuti, a name that recurs across generations of his people, evoking other Timutis, alive and dead, who will nourish his spirit and shape his destiny.
Feminism has shaped the society we live in. But just how far has it brought us, and how relevant is it today? This feature documentary zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking.
Is culture accepting of difference? This is the vital question that Nova Scotia filmmaker Paul Émile d'Entremont asks in his film about difference and identity. Alone, Together charts the quest of two Acadians: Simon, who is trying to come to terms with his sexuality, and Cynthia, who is searching for her biological mother. The filmmaker sees himself in Simon and Cynthia who, each in their own way, is seeking an answer to the existential questions: who am I? where do I belong? In daring to come out with his homosexuality, Simon is also able to assume his Acadian identity. After finding her birth mother, Cynthia finally untangles the various strands of her identity. Alone, Together shows Acadia as a multifaceted society embracing the more open attitudes of the 21st century. Today's Acadians are able to assume their difference and create their own identity. In French with English subtitles.
This short documentary features children aged 5 to 12 talking about their experiences with bullying and discrimination because they or their families do not fit into traditional gender and family roles. This film explores the contemporary diversity of families from kids' points of view, while featuring short animated sequences about the history of derogatory slang.
In this animated short, Oscar® winner Chris Landreth returns with a poignant story of redemption that takes us into the relationship between a man and a woman trapped in a spiral of mutual destruction after 26 years of marriage. The Spine continues Landreth's pursuit of a twisted, beautiful and highly original visual aesthetic, using digital imagery to create characters whose physical appearances are metaphors for their unique souls.
This animation short by Ryan Larkin (Walking, Street Musique, etc.) recounts some “comical experiences” Larkin had during his many years as a panhandler in Montreal. It tells the story of Astral Pan, a street beggar (voiced by Larkin himself), who takes us on a wild journey from the sidewalks of a wintry Montreal day, to the gates of Heaven and Hell and back. The great filmmaker passed away before finishing his film. Spare Change was completed by a friend, producer and singer-songwriter Laurie Gordon, assisted by a team of young, devoted animators.
Original music by Laurie Gordon's band Chiwawa, featuring the single "Do It For Me."
An important figure in the history of Canadian Indigenous filmmaking, Gil Cardinal was born to a Métis mother but raised by a non-Indigenous foster family, and with this auto-biographical documentary he charts his efforts to find his biological mother and to understand why he was removed from her. Considered a milestone in documentary cinema, it addressed the country’s internal colonialism in a profoundly personal manner, winning a Special Jury Prize at Banff and multiple international awards. “Foster Child is one of the great docs to come out of Canada, and nobody but Gil could have made it,” says Jesse Wente, director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office. “Gil made it possible for us to think about putting our own stories on the screen, and that was something new and important.”