In this documentary, the age-old tradition of arranged marriages takes a modern twist when 3 second-generation South Asian young people decide to marry. Engaging and refreshingly candid in their opinions, they make it clear that arranged marriages aren't what they used to be.
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.
Filmmaker Paul Émile d'Entremont's documentary presents Reema, a lively and sensitive young girl confronted with difficult questions about her identity. After spending the first 16 years of her life with her Canadian mother, Reema re-connects with her Iraqi father by spending 2 months with him in Jordan. On returning home to Nova Scotia, she realizes she will always have a double identity, and that it is both a burden and a treasure.
A conservative Indo-Canadian family in small-town British Columbia must come to terms with a devastating secret: three sisters were sexually abused by an older relative beginning in their childhood years. After remaining silent for nearly two and a half decades, the sisters finally decide to come forward—not only to protect other young relatives, but to set an example for their daughters as well.
This documentary recounts filmmaker Pierre Sidaoui’s immigration journey from the small Lebanese town of Abey to Montreal, the city he now calls home. Sidaoui had a carefree childhood, but civil war forced him and his family to flee Lebanon in 1982, the first in a series of moves that would ultimately separate him from his parents, brother and sisters. Two decades later, Sidaoui pauses to reflect. His precious family photos, carefully kept in a shoebox, bring forth a flood of memories - of family, landscapes, music and war. A touching meditation on the pursuit of happiness and the immigrant experience.
This short symphonic documentary offers a glimpse into the unique religious co-existence found along No. 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia. Highway to Heaven takes audiences into many of the temples, mosques, and churches that call No. 5 home, revealing unity despite difference across these diverse cultural spaces. In a world struggling with religious violence and intolerance, filmmaker Sandra Ignagni has crafted a gentle portrait of a rare landscape using attentive imagery and an acoustic tapestry of prayer.
This short documentary tells the intensely personal story of Namrata Gill – one of the many real-life inspirations for Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth – in her own words. After six years, Gill courageously leaves an abusive relationship and launches a surprising new career.
Filmed at the Wing Fong Farm in Ontario, this documentary follows the tilling, planting and harvesting of Asian vegetables destined for Chinese markets and restaurants. On 80 acres of land, Lau King-Fai, her son and a half-dozen migrant Mexican workers care for the plants. For Yeung Kwan, her son, the farm represents personal and financial independence. For his mother, it is an oasis of peace. For the Mexican workers, it provides jobs that help support their children back home.
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.
In this animated short, based on a story by Paul Yee, Maylin cooks mouth-watering meals at her father's restaurant in Chinatown, but her father and brothers take all the credit. When a dignitary from China visits and tastes one her dishes, Maylin finally earns recognition.
This film is 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.
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.
In the stark Labrador interior, a growing number of Filipino workers have recently landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, travelling halfway around the world for jobs they hope will offer their families new opportunities and a better life. Becoming Labrador follows a handful of those women and men as they make a place for themselves in Labrador while dealing with the unexpected costs of living far from their family.
Ages 12 to 18
Study Guide - Guide 1
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
Family Studies/Home Economics - Relationships
Health/Personal Development - Healthy Relationships
Summary with teaching points
This documentary explores the approach to arranged marriages in the 1990s by three different young people of South Asian descent. The film will raise awareness about the process that each person went through and can be compared to the viewer’s understanding of how courtship and marriage happen. Students could be involved in discussions and essays on this topic. How does each person in the documentary explain their identity? What is involved in developing an identity? Explore the ideas of gender roles and stereotypes in these relationships. Research: What is different about the process of arranged marriages today?