This short documentary explores the realities of Canadian Jews dwelling in smaller urban centers. Filmed in the northern Ontario towns of Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay, The People of the Book provides insight into the ancient pattern of ceremony and belief practiced in the synagogue and shows the efforts of Jewish communities to perpetuate their culture and traditions.
This animated short depicts a family celebration of Passover as seen through the eyes of two little girls. They identify the traditional symbolic dishes and are treated to a special story by their grandfather that brings to life the meaning of this important Jewish holiday.
This short documentary introduces us to 10-year-old Yehuda, a radiant example of the Hasidic belief in the joy of prayer. Living with his parents and 10 brothers and sisters in West Jerusalem, Yehuda brings old customs and traditions to life as he prepares to celebrate the Sukkot festival.
This short documentary is part of the Children of Jerusalem series, which presents engaging portraits of Palestinian and Israeli children living in the historic, much-contested city.
This animated short, based on the book by Rachna Gilmore, is the story of Gita, an 8-year-old girl who can't wait to celebrate Divali - the Hindu festival of lights - in her new home in Canada. But it's nothing like New Delhi, where she comes from. The weather is cold and grey and a terrible ice storm cuts off the power, ruining her plans for a party. Obviously, a Divali celebration now is impossible. Or is it? As Gita experiences the glittering beauty of the icy streets outside, the traditional festival of lights comes alive in a sparkling new way.
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.
Filmed in the Indian Himalayas and in Canada, A Song for Tibet tells the dramatic story of the efforts by Tibetans in exile, including the Dalai Lama, to save their homeland and preserve their heritage against overwhelming odds. Since the invasion of their territory by China in the late 1950s, Tibetans have been struggling for cultural and political survival.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
Using original animation, archival footage and personal interviews, this full-length documentary portrays the multiple relationships Canadian Muslim women entertain with Islam’s place of worship, the mosque. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In North America, a large number of converts are women. Many are drawn to the religion because of its emphasis on social justice and spiritual equality between the sexes. Yet, many mosques force women to pray behind barriers, separate from men, and some do not even permit women to enter the building. Exploring all sides of the issue, the film examines the space – both physical and social – granted to women in mosques across the country.
Me and the Mosque was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
This documentary is a portrait of modern-day Pondicherry, an ancient city near the southern tip of India. For several centuries an outpost of France, the city is now home to Auroville, a spiritual community growing on its periphery. There, European and North American devotees of Sri Aurobindo, a Bengali poet and mystic, come to live the contemplative life. Their guru is a 94-year-old woman from France. This mecca of sorts is seen through the eyes of Albert Jordan, a professor from Concordia University, in Montreal, who spent a year there with his family in 1971.
Featuring a unique collection of archival images, home movies and family photographs from Iraq, Baghdad Twist is a short film that pulls back the curtain on Iraq's once thriving Jewish community. Baghdad-born filmmaker Joe Balass takes us on a journey through the fragmented memories of an Arab exile. This powerful collage forms a portrait of a time and place that no longer exists.
This animated short tells the story of an epic basketball game between kids attending Jewish camp and students of a notorious local Holocaust denier. Nine-year-old Hart is attending Jewish summer camp for the first time. He is both curious and afraid. What awaits him on the basketball court?
This award-winning animation is a poignant interpretation of a short story by Montreal author Mordecai Richler. It makes a strong statement about how many families respond to their old and infirm members. In washes of watercolour and ink, filmmaker Caroline Leaf illustrates reactions to a dying grandmother, capturing family feelings and distilling them into harsh reality.