Between March and October 2000, millions of people around the world took to the streets to denounce poverty and violence against women. The historic World March of Women was a bold initiative of the Québec Federation of Women and represented a turning point in global solidarity.
Director Sophie Bissonnette invited five filmmakers from around the world to cover the march. She also asked each one to film an innovative project. In Senegal a community battles female genital mutilation through education. In Australia a women's circus teaches survivors of sexual assault to become skilled performers. In India a group of low-caste women mediate domestic disputes in informal women's courts. Native women in Ecuador offer leadership training programs to create women leaders. In the United States, Linda Carney describes why she founded Survival Inc. for poor women in Boston: this wealthy city refused her and her son welfare benefits unless she quit her minimum-wage job.
Set against the backdrop of a song, A Score for Women's Voices ends at the UN, where women deliver 5 million cards signed during the marches. Their goal? To change the world!
With candor, humour and courage, a group of African-Canadian women challenge cultural taboos surrounding female sexuality and fight to take back ownership of their bodies. Combining her own journey with personal accounts from some of her radiant, endearing friends, co-director Habibata Ouarme explores the phenomenon of female genital mutilation and the road to individual and collective healing, both in Africa and in Canada.
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.
The short documentary looks at some innovative approaches to providing services and accommodation for battered women in rural, northern, and Native communities. Filmed in Thompson and Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and West Bay Reserve, Ontario, the film introduces the women who operate and use various types of accommodation such as transition houses, transition apartments, and safe houses. The shelter on West Bay Reserve is singled out as a project that was built by women for women to stand as a reminder that the Reserve will not tolerate violence against women. A Safe Distance is part of the The Next Step, a 3-film series about the services needed by and available to battered women.
This short film recreates the experience of Sylvie, a battered woman who seeks shelter in a Montréal transition house. Faced with the threat of violence, loneliness, the lack of financial resources or information about services, the victim is often understandably reluctant to seek help. Emphasizing the importance for women of speaking out, the film also points out the role of the transition house in putting victims of abuse in touch with appropriate legal and social services. Sylvie’s Story is part of The Next Step, a 3-film series about the services needed by and available to battered women.
Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
In Crown Prince, Frank Robinson abuses his wife verbally and batters her physically, with frightening consequences not only for her, but also for their sons, Billy and Freddy. A thought-provoking drama, this film explores the complex problems teenagers face in dealing with domestic violence, and shows how one family begins the healing process.
This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.
This short documentary presents 5 women from a variety of backgrounds who use strategy, humour and determination to seek to attain equality in the workplace. Whether in the public service or on the shop floor, discrimination against women is taking on increasingly subtle forms, which makes it even more difficult to tackle and eliminate. Various obstacles combine to hold back the advancement of women in many sectors, particularly in middle management positions, where we are seeing the emergence of a new “female ghetto.”
Illuminating a new paradigm for domestic-violence prevention, A Better Man offers a fresh and nuanced look at the healing and revelation that can happen for everyone involved when men take responsibility for their abuse. It also empowers audience members to play new roles in challenging domestic violence, whether it’s in their own relationships or as part of a broader movement for social change.
To Learn more about A Better Man and access additional resources, visit A Better Man project
This short documentary looks at how the community of London, Ontario, has implemented a plan to address the issue of domestic violence. These efforts, spearheaded by police, lawyers, doctors, transition house staff, women's groups, and social services agencies have turned London into a rare model community. There, The London Battered Women's Advocacy Clinic and "Changing Ways," a therapy program for men who batter, contribute to the city's innovative attempt to break the cycle of violence. Moving On is part of the The Next Step, a 3-film series about the services needed by and available to battered women.
This intimate documentary paints a portrait of one Cree woman who left life on the streets to re-emerge as a powerful voice counseling Indigenous adults and youth about abuse and addiction. Raised in foster homes and caught up in drugs and prostitution by the age of 13, Donna Gamble shares her exhilarating and tumultuous journey and what motivated her to turn her life around. Together with her mother and daughters, Donna is working to shatter the cycle of addiction that has plagued their family for generations.