Black & Indigenous Realities: Anti-Racism programme

We are pleased to offer this list of Bonus Films to accompany our Anti-Racism programme and RCtv livestream series: Black and Indigenous Realities in Canada.

 

These films provide an additional avenue to discuss Black and Indigenous Realities, and the themes of racism, oppression, equity and justice with your class in even greater depth. It’s your choice if, when and how you’d like to incorporate them into your courses.

Black Realities in Canada:

Please consider screening these compelling films that address Anti-Black racism in Canada:

Across the Line 2
ACROSS THE LINE (87 min)

2015. Director: Director X. Writer: Floyd Kane. 14A.

Inspired by true events, Across the Line tells the story of Mattie Slaughter (Stephan James), a Black teen-aged hockey phenom, who is poised to take the next step on the road to the NHL. As the star of his local team, he’s had to overcome bias and stigma both on his team and in his high school that has a decades-long history of racial hostility. When he starts a relationship with a mixed-race girl in his class who has a White ex-boyfriend, simmering racial tensions boil over, jeopardizing his shot at a hockey career.

GRADES 11 & 12 ONLY. PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
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INVISIBLE CITY (75 min)

2009. Director: Hubert Davis. 14A.

A powerful documentary set in the public housing project of Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood, Invisible City follows two childhood friends, Kendell and Mikey, who face many challenges while growing up in single-parent homes in the inner city.
Oscar-nominated director Davis follows the two young men over three years, setting this intimate portrait against the backdrop of a community in transition: The Regent Park housing projects are about to be torn down, and it is unclear to its residents whether the redevelopment will result in a brighter future for them.

Social pressures tempt the young men to make poor choices, while their families root for them to succeed. Davis doesn’t provide easy answers to the problems at hand. Instead, he shows the real uncertainty and unpredictability in the young men’s lives.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
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THE SKIN WE’RE IN (44 min)

2017. Director: Charles Officer.

This film will be spotlighted in our Nov. 25th livestream Black Realities in Canada, featuring the film’s director Charles Officer. Register here.

An urgent exploration of race relations, this documentary from acclaimed director Charles Officer follows award-winning journalist and activist Desmond Cole as he pulls back the curtain on racism in Canada, inviting all Canadians to understand the experience of being in his skin.

Cole won a National Magazine Award for his impactful and incisive Toronto Life cover story about carding and racial profiling. Now, in Officer’s starkly honest doc, he journeys across North America, exploring what it’s really like to be Black in the 21st century.

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CAMILLE TURNER (7 min)

2018. Director: Van Royko. 

Performance artist Camille Turner uses her works to explore and expose Canada’s racist history and shines a light on the continuing forms of oppression.

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ICE BREAKERS (15 min)

2019. Director: Sandamini Rankaduwa.

A rising hockey star is introduced to the history of the Black hockey league in Atlantic Canada to inspire him to pursue his dreams in a sport where Black athletes like him remain underrepresented.

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MA BOÎTE NOIRE / MY BLACK BOX (12 min)

2012. Director: Nicolas-Alexandre Tremblay.

A man uses rap to overcome both his speech impediment and his troubled past, and then teaches other young people to do the same.

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NANCY’S WORKSHOP (20 min)

2020. Director: Aïcha Diop.

Hairdresser Nancy Falaise conducts a workshop for young Black girls showing them how to care for their hair and encouraging them to feel proud of themselves and their racial identity.

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SNOW (10 min)
2017. Director: Kim Barr.
A young girl who recently immigrated to Canada has mixed feelings about seeing her first snowfall.

Indigenous Realities in Canada

Please consider screening these powerful films that address Anti-Indigenous racism in Canada.

Angry Inuk
ANGRY INUK (85 min)

2016. Director & Writer: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuk). G. 

We all know about the terrible “brutality” of the arctic seal hunt — or do we? Turns out there’s more to this story: families that need to be fed, a hunting practice that began centuries ago and a tradition central to the economy and food security of Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic. Angry Inuk is a story that’s over 4,000 years old. The seal hunt is not exactly a laughing matter, but humour and technical savvy go a long way to debunk certain claims. Wryly tackling both misinformation and aggressive appeals to emotion, Inuk filmmaker Arnaquq-Baril equips herself and her community with the powers of social media — and yes, #sealfies — to reframe a controversial topic as a cultural issue in this 2016 Audience Award-winning Hot Docs hit.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
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NÎPAWISTAMÂSOWIN: WE WILL STAND UP (89 min)

2019. Director & Writer: Tasha Hubbard (Cree). NR.

On August 9, 2016, a 22-year-old Cree man named Colten Boushie was killed by a gunshot to the back of his head after entering a rural farm property in Saskatchewan with his friends. When an all-white jury acquitted the white farmer of all charges, the case received international attention and sent Colten’s family and community on a quest to fix the Canadian justice system. nîpawistamâsowin was the opening night film at Hot Docs 2019, where it won the prize for Best Canadian Documentary.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
Rise
RISE — SACRED WATER: STANDING ROCK PT. 1 (45 min)

2017. Director: Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin). With: Sarain Fox (Anishinaabe). NR. 

Each episode of Rise stands on its own. This episode goes more thoroughly into the history of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

The residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of South Dakota are fighting to stop a pipeline from being built on their ancestral homeland. In this absorbing account of the events leading up to the protests, Anishinaabe host Sarain Fox provides context and background, telling the water protectors’ side of the story as the conflict develops right before our eyes.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
Sarain Fox (Anishnaabe), Host of Rise
RISE — RED POWER: STANDING ROCK PART 2 (44 min)

2017. Director: Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin). With: Sarain Fox (Anishinaabe). NR. 

This film will be spotlighted in our Dec. 1st livestream Indigenous Realities in Canada, featuring the host of Rise, Sarain Fox. Register here.

This powerful documentary series from VICELAND gives viewers a rare glimpse into the frontline of Indigenous-led resistance, examining Indigenous life through the stories of people in diverse communities who are working to protect their homelands. Several episodes of this urgent and timely show debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and were hailed as “persuasive and poignant” by The New York Times.

As the #noDAPL movement grows in size and reaches a boiling point, over 5,000 people descend on the Standing Rock camp. Using the unprecedented occupation at Standing Rock as its starting point, this episode delves into the evolution of the Red Power Movement, combining history lessons about Indigenous-led resistance with explosive footage of this urgent and historic moment.

ROCKS AT WHISKEY TRENCH (105 min)

2000. Director & Writer: Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki). PG.

The year 2020 marks thirty years since the Kanesatake/Kahnawake resistance (often referred to as the Oka Crisis). This affecting documentary profiles a key incident that occurred during the 78-day stand-off. On August 28, 1990, a convoy of 75 cars left the Mohawk community of Kahnawake and crossed Montreal’s Mercier Bridge—straight into an angry mob of non-Indigenous people that pelted the vehicles with rocks. The targets of this violence were Mohawk women, children, and elders leaving their community, in fear of a possible advance by the Canadian army. This film is the fourth in Alanis Obomsawin’s landmark series on the Mohawk rebellions that shook Canada in 1990. Nominated for the Genie Award for Best Documentary, Rocks at Whiskey Trench is shocking and absolutely essential viewing for all Canadians.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS CONTENT ADVISORY BEFORE ORDERING THE FILM.
AGAINST THE GRAIN (24 min)

2009. Director: Curtis Mandeville (Métis). 

Survivors of the Indian residential school system attempt to cope with its impact on their personal lives and communities. A good primer for discussions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

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MNI WICONI: MITAKUYELO / WATER IS LIFE (12 min)

2019. Director: Victoria Anderson-Gardner (Ojibwe)

Indigenous youth leaders from the Standing Rock protests reflect on the experience of living at the camp as well as the importance and lasting impact that the protests had on their lives.

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INDIAN (2 min)

2008. Director: Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux).

In this amusing and powerful short, the etymology of the word “Indian” is deconstructed at the Canadian National Spelling Bee.

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THE ROUTES (4 min)

2014. Director: James McDougall (Anishinaabe).

A man cycles through his memories of the local women who have gone missing in his Anishinaabe community.

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WHEN THE CHILDREN LEFT (11 min)

2019. Director: Charlene Moore.

With no high school in their community, the people of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation must send their children away from home at only 14 years old in order to access secondary educational opportunities.