03. April 2016 · Comments Off on Guylaine Maroist and Eric Ruel’s ‘God Save Justin Trudeau’ · Categories: Documentaries · Tags: , , , ,

godsavejustinmovieGod Save Justin Trudeau or How the MP from Papineau became Prime Minister of Canada is a 2015 documentary by filmmakers Guylaine Maroist and Eric Ruel.  It documents the “Thrilla on the Hilla”, the 2012 charity boxing match between the then Liberal MP for Papineau, Justin Trudeau and Conservative senator, Canadian navy veteran, black belt Patrick Brazeau.  The filmmakers were given unparalleled access to the events and some of the organizers for what promised to be a memorable event no matter the outcome.

“To call the match sensational would be to underestimate the situation.  It may have been for charity, but to think of it as just for fun would be to miss the vast and dynamic symbolism of the event.” — The Guardian

“Leaderless and penniless, the Liberals have been given up for dead,” the film opens. “One man will change the course of history.” More »

25. February 2016 · Comments Off on Elisa Paloschi’s ‘Driving with Selvi’ · Categories: Documentaries

26jan_epaloschiSelvi, like so many girls living within India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day in deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under the wheels of a bus. Instead she gets on the bus, choosing to live… and goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver.

Elisa Paloschi is a documentary director, producer, cinematographer and photographer who is drawn to stories with a human voice. She is President of Eyesfull, a Toronto- based independent production company dedicated to making non-fiction documentaries with social relevance that reflect the diversity of the human condition. — Official website for the film

Paloschi grew up in Kingston and encountered 18-year old Selvi while on travel during her volunteer work at an NGO called Odanadi, which runs a shelter for girls and women who have suffered gender based violence in South India. More »

24. February 2016 · Comments Off on #52FilmsByWomen #CdnTwist 7 – Girls’ Night Out (director: Phyllis Ellis) · Categories: #52filmsbywomen, Documentaries, Television

This year, I joined thousands of other film fans who have taken on the challenge to watch 52 films directed by women in 2016.  It’s part of a campaign using the hashtag #52filmsbywomen.  I’m throwing in an additional twist and making them all Canadian films.

My selection for film 7 is the film Girls’ Night Out (2016) by director Phyllis Ellis.

Girls’ Night Out is billed as a feature-length POV documentary, an all access journey into the lives of young women and binge drinking.  The film features the first person narratives from women who talk about the epidemic proportions binge drinking has risen to in recent years.   More »

13. February 2016 · Comments Off on #52filmsbywomen #CdnTwist 5 – Hi-Ho Mistahey! (director: Alanis Obomsawin) · Categories: #52filmsbywomen, Documentaries · Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year, I joined thousands of other film fans who have taken on the challenge to watch 52 films directed by women in 2016.  It’s part of a campaign using the hashtag #52filmsbywomen.  I’m throwing in an additional twist and making them all Canadian films.

My selection for week 5 is the film Hi-Ho Mistahey! (2013) by director Alanis Obomsawin.

Hi-Ho Mistahey!, Cree for “I love you forever”, is a feature length documentary that profiles Shannen’s Dream, an activist campaign inspired by the work of Shannen Koostachin, a Cree teenager from Attawapiskat, who wanted to lobby for improved educational opportunities for First Nations youth.  Read more about Shannen’s Dream on the website for the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. More »

10. February 2016 · Comments Off on This Changes Everything · Categories: Documentaries, Television · Tags: , , ,

05_naomi_klein_in_ny-1024x677Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years the documentary This Changes Everything is described as “an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.”

Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller of the same name, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities believed to be on the front lines of climate change.  The film takes viewers from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

The film was screened at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 where it was awarded the 2nd place People’s Choice Award.  You can watch it on the main CBC Network on Friday February 18th.  Check your local listings.

More »

29. January 2016 · Comments Off on Ann Shin’s ‘My Enemy, My Brother’ · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Documentaries · Tags: , , , , ,

annshinIn her film My Enemy, My Brother, filmmaker Ann Shin shines a light on the current refugee crisis by looking back at the story of Zahed and Najah, two men who came to Canada after fighting on opposite sides of the Iran-Iraq war.  Shin is a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto.

“Her journalism career began at CBC Radio where she produced for a number of shows including Metro Morning, Tapestry, Roots and Wings, Sunday Morning Live. During this time she produced sound poetry and radio documentaries, including How to Breathe the Air of our Ancestors, which won a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals in 1998. Realizing her love for long-form documentary, Ann moved into television and began to produce for television series for a number of networks, as well as direct independent documentaries.” — Wikipedia

“It’s interesting to talk about this film in this time when people are questioning how many refugees we should allow in from Syria and how they should be screened. Zahed and Najah were both refugees when they arrived here from Iran and Iraq — two countries that are not seen as benign, friendly countries necessarily. And you see that they’ve made honest livings and contributed so much to their society.” — Ann Shin interviewed on CBC’s Exhibitionists. More »