Often the history of African/Black people in Canada is intertwined with African American history. Although African/Blacks’ history on both sides of the 49th Parallel is intricately woven, the under-representation of African/Black Canadian history makes it indelibly challenging to carve out our own identity and narrative. The myth of the absence of a Black Canadian experience, unique in our participation within the civil rights movement, and more recently the movement for Black lives, is a dangerous and strategic consequence of the insidious racism and the silent, formidable, and cumulative erasure of African/Black Canadian stories. Canadian Resistance is a short film program highlighting homegrown voices using film as a tool for social change. The three films document the ongoing injustices and impacts of anti-Black racism in Canada, and the storytelling that chronicle our actions. (Nya Lewis)
Marathon (Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Canada, 4 min)
"After the revolution must come the evolutionaries." Marathon documents the never-ending race of humanity that Black people are perpetually running.
Dance Like Everybody’s Watching (Simone Blais, Canada, 47 min)
Simone Blais’s Afro-Trinidadian and Métis roots have been a major source of inspiration and pride in her life. Her debut short film Dance Like Everybody’s Watching examines issues of cultural Afro diasporic appropriation in dance, as well as celebrating the achievements of Black dancers who have faced tokenism, stereotyping and racism in BC. A love letter to the Black community in Victoria, the film lives as a contribution to the collective active archiving, documenting an examination of Black embodied knowledge, experience and governance through dance. Dance Like Everybody’s Watching follows artists as they work to break down the barriers in dance, uplifting the passion and necessity for inclusion and accessibility in the dance community, especially for Black people.
It Takes a Riot: Race, Rebellion, Reform (Howard Grandison, Canada, 28 min)
On May 4, 1992, in Toronto, a march against police violence turned into a riot. The march was organized by the Black Action Defense Committee, a civil rights group and criminal justice watchdog founded by members of Toronto’s Black communities. While the mainstream media and politicians called it a riot, others called it a "rebellion", even an "uprising". It Takes A Riot: Race, Rebellion, Reform explores the events of May 4, 1992, their historical context, political impact, and relevance to contemporary struggles against anti-Black racism. With racial injustice, police killings of Black people, and the Black Lives Matter movement on the front pages, this provocative documentary asks: What does it take for Black people to get justice in this society?
Look out for a Vancity Impact Talk event inspired by this programme, live on Facebook on Feb 16th, 6pm, and subsequently on VIFF Connect and on VIFF’s Facebook page.
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Please note that VIFF Connect online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.