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No Address

1988 55 min
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Far from home and cut off from family and friends, Montreal’s Indigenous homeless population is the focus of No Address. Dreams of a better life in the big city can be met with harsh realities, as the individuals in this documentary recount. Often trying to flee circumstances created by colonialism and the effects of assimilation, the First Nations and Inuit people in this work share frank stories about their lives and the paths that took them to the streets of Montreal. Alanis Obomsawin presents an honest, stark portrayal of endemic homelessness while giving voice to those so often overlooked or …

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No Address

Details

Far from home and cut off from family and friends, Montreal’s Indigenous homeless population is the focus of No Address. Dreams of a better life in the big city can be met with harsh realities, as the individuals in this documentary recount. Often trying to flee circumstances created by colonialism and the effects of assimilation, the First Nations and Inuit people in this work share frank stories about their lives and the paths that took them to the streets of Montreal. Alanis Obomsawin presents an honest, stark portrayal of endemic homelessness while giving voice to those so often overlooked or made invisible on the streets of every city in Canada.
  • director
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • script
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • producer
    Marrin Canell
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • executive producer
    Colin Neale
  • camera
    Roger Rochat
  • sound
    Jacques Drouin
    Yves Gendron
  • editing
    Marrin Canell
  • sound editing
    Wojtek Klis
  • re-recording
    Hans Peter Strobl
  • music
    Dominique Tremblay

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Education

Ages 18+

Warnings: M (discussion of prostitution, drug use, some swearing). This film can be used to develop understandings of root causes of homelessness through discussions, critical inquiry and research. How has colonization contributed to homelessness of Indigenous people? Do the needs of homeless people exceed the resources of non-profit social service groups? What attracted the characters in the film to want to move to a city rather than staying in rural isolated communities? Research policies that tried to strip Inuit of their cultural identity (Inuit dog slaughters, Inuit dog-tags, project surname, and forced relocation) and consider the long-term social implications. How does loss of cultural identity contribute to homelessness and other negative social impacts that some Inuit may face? What social outlets are available in cities for Indigenous people who are in need? How does one become trapped without a means to return to their community? What ethical actions can be taken as a society to eliminate homelessness?

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