Kwai Fong Lai is from Hong Kong, Alberta Onyejekwe from Ghana, and Angela Williams from Jamaica. They are immigrants to Canada, visible minorities, and women, a combination designed to make their lives difficult. While Canadian society has yet to accustom itself to its immigrant reality, these strong and resilient women manage to adapt and survive. At home and at work, they speak candidly about the conditions that shape their lives.
Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
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.
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.
Pablo, Chilean emigrant, ex-professor, seeks work in a Montréal steel mill. Cut off from family, country and profession, he is baffled by a language he doesn't speak and a job he doesn't know. The film reproduces with accuracy and sensitivity his efforts to adjust to a new and bewildering world.
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.
This feature documentary casts a curious and critical eye at North American discourses about motherhood since the mid-20th century. Through conversations with seven mothers, a fascinating selection of archival footage and stills from the 1950s, as well as some very candid and funny home movies, this film offers new ways of thinking about what it means to be a good mom.
This short animation tells the story of Saoussan, a young girl struggling to adjust to life in Canada after being uprooted from her wartorn homeland. She has come to seek a quieter and safer life, although memories of war and death linger, memories that are awakened when the children at her new school prepare for a scary Halloween. From Far Away speaks to the power within us all to adapt like Saoussan and to welcome a newcomer.
Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
Paraskeva Clark, artist, socialist, feminist, is her own woman at her own cost. This film is a cameo of an irascible and oftentimes touching artist whose work has won her a place in exhibitions and private collections. Born in Russia in 1898, she eventually married a Canadian and moved to Toronto. Because her canvases reflect a strong social conscience, she had to struggle hard to earn a place in the nation's ultra-conservative galleries.
Afros, braids or corn-rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between Black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity.
Today trend-setting teens proudly reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a range of women as they reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices.
Black, Bold and Beautiful celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair, while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates on the position of Black people within Canada.