WARNING: This film discusses the topic of childhood sexual assault. Viewer discretion is advised.
Why be silent about the most serious matters? Doesn’t silence perpetuate suffering? From the 1950s to the 1980s, Catholic priests sexually abused many young boys in the francophone towns of New Brunswick. These scandals only came to light when the victims were in their fifties, provoking shock and outrage in the media and the public. Why did the affected communities keep silent so long, preferring secrecy to justice and truth? Profiting from their positions of influence to impose a “pious silence” on their parishioners, authority figures built an abusive system that tells us as much about the type of oppression specific to the Acadian population as it does about the blanket denials issued by the Catholic Church. Called to confront the power of this collective silence, veteran filmmaker Renée Blanchar meets with survivors in an attempt to untangle the deeply rooted reasons for this secrecy. With The Silence, she takes us as close as she can to the humanity of these broken men, revealing the forces that, today as in the past, have the power to unite or divide Acadian communities.
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris, as she challenges electoral corruption and fights to protect the right to citizenship for all people.
Celebrate Black Canadian cinema with the NFB. Explore our collection of films from Black filmmakers across Canada.
Some dreamers have the power to inspire us, bring us together, and help us reconnect with our humanity. Alain Philoctète, a Haitian artist and activist who settled in Quebec, returns to the country of his birth to develop a permaculture project with local farmers. There, he has an emotional reunion with family members and his former comrades in arms, whose ideals remain unshaken despite the lingering aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and political instability. However, Alain, who is suffering from cancer, has to undergo treatment in Montreal, where his loved ones provide the same degree of affection and solidarity as he receives in Haiti. Director Will Prosper films this inspiring dreamer on his hopeful quest, chronicling the challenges of exile and illness with the personal, knowing touch of a longtime friend. With a rich score composed by Jenny Salgado, Kenbe la, Until We Win offers a cinematic journey that will move viewers to ponder the importance of embracing ideals and passing them on.
Muslim women are disconcerting, intriguing, polarizing—and straitjacketed by conflations of ideas in front-page stories. While the media tend to portray them as submissive and silenced, filmmaker Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski has chosen to distance herself from that caricature, with which she does not identify. She sat down with six Muslim Canadian women eager to talk about what shapes their identities. The resulting documentary, In Full Voice, offers an intimate perspective on the journey of these women, who have a common desire to share their visions of Islam.
How can refugee children integrate into Quebec’s school system, given the unspeakable violence they’ve experienced? Following a psychologist specializing in conflict-related trauma, Unspoken Tears pays tribute to the admirable resilience and survival strategies of these “small adults,” whose spirit the bombs and camps have not completely crushed, at a time when it is vital to raise awareness in Western societies of migration-related issues and children’s rights.
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.
This feature documentary tells the story of the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur Congregation which was formed in 1924 when 53 French-speaking nuns separated from their unilingual English community, forming a new religious community that immediately began to campaign for the preservation of Acadian language, faith and culture. Convinced that education was essential for Acadian women, in 1943 the Congregation founded Collège Notre-Dame d’Acadie, where young women were able to study in French for the first time in New Brunswick.
The Perfect Story offers a riveting, intimate look at the ethical and moral challenges sparked by the relationship between a foreign correspondent and a young Somali refugee. By revealing the boundaries of journalism and filmmaking, the film questions what stories are told, why, and who gets to tell them.
This feature fiction film describes Acadia from a new and humorous angle. In a small village in the Acadian region of Nova Scotia, a couple living out of wedlock and a broad-minded priest scandalize the village gossips. They suspect that a treacherous act is about to be committed. Suspense builds, stoked by the clacking tongues of a trio of suspicious housewives.
At her family’s cabin on Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan, renowned Fransaskois singer-songwriter Alexis Normand invites audiences into a series of candid exchanges about belonging and bilingualism on the Prairies. Weaving together old home movies with current conversations, French Enough illuminates the struggle and triumph of reclaiming francophone Canadian identity. As parents, children and grandchildren sing, play and celebrate, in both French and English, the act of carrying a language forward finally becomes a thing of freedom and joy.
What is fatphobia and what can be done to overcome it? With poetic illustrations and painful, compelling testimony, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia offers multiple examples of the psychological effects of weight-based discrimination and bullying on adolescent girls.
Ages 18 to 18
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Health/Personal Development - Identity
Health/Personal Development - Sexuality
Recommended Ages: 18+