From New Year rituals and teenage pilgrimages to the life of ants and campus culture at the Gyaltsen Tibetan College, this collection of short films offers a poetic look at the everyday life of contemporary Tibetans.
White Ravens takes us on a remarkable journey to a place of astonishing beauty, but the film maintains its focus on the people who call this extraordinary place home. Their dedication and deep ties to the land give them the strength to fight a Herculean battle. The film shows that the fight is not over for the Haida people, nor for other Indigenous people all over the world.
In The Palyul Elementary School, a teacher named Palden Nyandrak offers us a close look his pupil’s daily life — from the classroom to the playground. Yak Dung explores how manure provides everything from heat and light to children’s toys and Buddhist figurines.
God Straightens Legs is a film about details, and the way that they embed inside of us during moments of terrible grief and sadness. The emotion that runs underneath, like an underground river, rises up, and clings to the mundane, investing it with a curious and irrevocable form of grace, that is, in itself, miraculous.
After the trauma, turmoil, and dislocation of war, how does one begin to pick up the pieces and heal? In 2010, Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Amar Chebib headed to Syria, just months before chaos broke out, to film a short documentary about traditional Sufi music. Five years later, the friends he encountered on his trip are dispersed around Europe, and have become refugees like so many others who were forced to flee Aleppo.
Superhero and fantasy comics often depict women in gratuitous sexy poses, sprinkled in manic pixie dream girl fairy dust. However, the characters in Rat Queens, despite being created by two men, have agency—they are queer, diverse, and weird. Outcasts or not, they fight the good fight, beat up “the bad guys” and sometimes slay the dragon, or at least come to an understanding. Nadler’s documentary actively contends with the idea that we are all composite creations of our mistakes and our accomplishments.
Director Michèle Smolkin illustrates her uncle’s anecdotes through charming animation, archival footage, and a buoyant score. But the real star of the film is the timeless art of storytelling. As Sam remembers his childhood and teenage years, his experience as an army gunner during the war, and working with the French Resistance, the film becomes more than just a portrait of one man’s life and times.
In Vancouver, politics are anything but boring. The year is 1986. Expo 86 has just ended and affordability is at the top of everyone’s mind. Harry Rankin, World War II veteran, criminal lawyer, city councillor, and outspoken socialist decides to run for mayor against a young upstart named Gordon Campbell.