This animated film tells the story of a young Japanese girl's relationship with her grandfather, a postmaster and amateur geologist. When the neighboring Mount Usu erupts during World War II, he records its activity. As he witnesses the birth of a new mountain named Showa Shinzan, he transcends the misery and folly of war that surrounds them and teaches his granddaughter a valuable lesson about life. Evoking the tradition of Bunraku puppetry, this animated film is based on actual events.
Two sisters grow up in Vietnam and are separated by the war between North and South. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Thao, in her teens, must leave the country with her uncle. Her sister Sao Maï, only a little older, remains with their parents, hoping they will soon be reunited. But their separation will last nearly 20 years, and the letters they exchange are their only way to connect and relieve their loneliness. Thao and Sao Maï write about their everyday lives, their memories, the war, and its ghosts.
The bombing of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor thrust 9-year-old Minoru Fukushima into a world of racism so malevolent he would be forced to leave Canada, the land of his birth. Like thousands of other Japanese Canadians, Minoru and his family were branded as an enemy of Canada, dispatched to internment camps in British Columbia and finally deported to Japan. Directed by Michael Fukushima, Minoru's son, the film combines classical animation with archival material. The memories of the father are interspersed with the voice of the son, weaving a tale of a birthright lost and recovered.
An elderly Japanese man boards a ferry bound for an unknown island. As he looks out over the water, the falling rain triggers a string of memories, including of a childhood experience in Fukuoka and a brief encounter many years later, aboard a smoke-filled seaside train. The only constant is the rain, a woman and Mount Fuji. When the man arrives on the island, it begins to pour, and a mysterious woman on a motorbike greets him…
Directed by Latvian filmmaker Vladimir Leschiov, Rainy Days looks at three key moments in its protagonist’s life, when events that should have happened never come to pass, yet change the course of his existence. The unique animation technique used to create the film, consisting of black tea and ink on paper and precise, delicate drawn lines, conjures a warm and tranquil atmosphere that mirrors the man’s graceful acceptance of his fate—and his awareness that all we have is what is.
In this short fiction film, Estelle, the scientist in charge of a research project on water, is getting ready for a conference with the help of her "intelligent" satellite Zenon. But a teenage hacker has found an illegal way to consult Zenon's files. Things look very bad when the hacker accidentally infects Zenon with a virulent computer virus.
This colourful short animation tells the tale of a mythical universe whose existence is threatened by the arrival of unthinking and uncaring visitors. From Oscar®-nominated animator Ishu Patel comes a thought-provoking metaphor for our times: a cautionary tale with a pro-environmental theme.
This short film illustrates the impact of the civil war in El Salvador and Guatemala through the words and drawings of children who have known conflict or refugee camps. The film was adapted from an exhibition entitled Disrupted Lives, organized by Linda Dale and sponsored by INTER-PARES and CUSO.
This animated film about blind prejudice is based on a short story by Canadian author Wilma Riley. Mrs. Cherwak is Polish and owns a cow. Mrs. Meuser is a German with entrenched notions of cleanliness. She does not appreciate the cow's inevitable by-product. The film describes their conflict and its curious resolution over coffee and mincemeat pie. While the author chose to write about the Germans and the Poles she grew up with on the outskirts of Regina, the situation she describes could apply anywhere in the world.
In this short fiction film, the observation satellite Zenon has, on its own, left its assigned orbit and is refusing to send back vital data concerning the Earth's water reserves. Those in charge of the Research Center that sent the satellite up are threatening to destroy this free and intelligent "spirit" if Estelle, the scientist controlling it, cannot make her "friend" see reason.
In 1945, Great Britain and the United States organized a bombing raid that devastated the ancient city of Dresden. This short documentary returns exactly 40 years after its destruction and celebrates its renaissance with the re-opening of one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. One guest at this gala was the Canadian navigator of one of the bomber planes, returning to Dresden on a mission of peace that brought him face-to-face with the people who were once his enemies.
This short animation is director Ann Marie Fleming’s animated adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein’s acclaimed illustrated memoir. Using the healing power of humour, the film probes the taboos around a very particular second-hand trauma, leading us to a more universal understanding of human experience. The film sensitively explores identity and loss through the audacious proposition that the Holocaust is addictive and defining.
This feature-length documentary focuses on the Canadian pilots who served in the air force bomber command in Britain during World War II. From the outset, it was clear to Britain that air combat would be the key factor in the battle against Hitler's Germany. Told they would be targeting factories and military targets, the airmen were actually ordered to drop their payloads on civilians in an attempt to annihilate the enemy. Using interviews, re-enactments, old footage and photographs, Brian McKenna's film depicts the war from the perspective of the pilots.