Marie Clements’ musical documentary is simultaneously a piece of BC First Nations history, a call for revolution and resolve, and a portrait of a people who have retained their power and identity through community and activism.
There is no topic that unites all of Vancouver quite like that of housing. At every dinner party, social gathering, or chance meeting in the street, everyone has an opinion, and they want to share it. Charles Wilkinson’s new film Vancouver: No Fixed Address tackles the subject from a multiplicity of perspectives.
Drawing on the tradition of oral storytelling, ôtênaw is a philosophical and creative treatment of land rights, territory, history and culture. As Dr. Dwayne Donald leads a walking tour of amiskwaciwâskahikan (now the city of Edmonton), talking about the history of the land and the people who lived there, the layers of human habitation slowly reveal themselves.
On December 18, 1968, members of the Akwesasne Mohawk community blockaded the international bridge near Cornwall, Ontario. The intent was to bring public attention to treaty violations by the Canadian government. A young Mohawk chief named Mike Mitchell narrates throughout, explaining that things got off to a rocky start when no one remembered to bring scotch tape to post notices of the blockade.
Jacob Smith, Jon D. Erickson and Kathryn Goldman |
Five people — including a school bus driver from LA, an anti-poverty activist from West Virginia, the organizers of Democracy Spring, and Senator Bernie Sanders — all come together in an intersectional coalition that offers a glimmer of hope in these dark days.
In 2014, activists, ranging from new Canadians to First Nations people, ascended Burnaby Mountain to make a camp on the future route of the proposed pipeline. They were willing to do whatever it took to prevent the project from going forward; a critical necessity in their eyes, if the earth was to be preserved for future generations.
From the opening guitar thunder of Link Wray’s smash hit, you know you are in for a wild ride. Directors Catherine Bainbridge (Reel Injun) and Alfonso Maiorana have assembled a veritable who’s who in the music business, from Tony Bennett to Steven Tyler to attest to the pivotal role that First Nations artists played in the development of Blues, Rock and Funk.
In North Philadelphia, the Raineys are a regular African-American family who stay strong and loving despite ongoing adversity. Jonathan Olshefski’s powerful documentary follows Christopher and Christine’a, their teenage daughter Patricia (PJ), and Christine’a’s older son William over a ten-year period. The spectacular power of Quest comes from its complete lack of sentimentality. Its unflinching honesty reflects how the Raineys themselves are unapologetically candid, and relentlessly courageous. This is a family with a deep bond of love and faith, and this timely film has a lot to teach us.
Meet Haya (bossy and manipulative), Leanne (who positively glows, even when flinching from loud noises in the playground), and Jorj (who casually jokes about post-war stresses, but still clearly suffers). They are three Syrian refugees between the ages of six and nine, now students in a small town in the Netherlands. And in the background, often as a disembodied voice, is Miss Kiet, their teacher. She is understanding but firm, working calmly and efficiently under extremely challenging circumstances.
Recalling the work of Portuguese master Pedro Costa, in particular his Fontainhas trio (Ossos, In Vanda’s Room, and Colossal Youth) Little Go Girls has the same almost magisterial quality of image. The women and girls who ply their trade initially regard de Latour’s camera with benign indifference. But the relationship between the women and the filmmaker gradually grows more trusting.