When Naamowin’s grandson falls sick, he is gifted a healing drum in a dream which restores his grandson’s life and continues to be used for healing by the Anishinabek people of the upper Berens River. However colonial and Christian rule shatter the balance of their world, dispossessing children from the village and forbidding traditional practices. Years later, Naamowin’s grandson dreams of how to bring the beat of his grandfather’s drum back home.
Though white mainstream media sources might report that “twerking” is a new phenomenon started by Miley Cyrus, the reality is that similar dance movements have been a central part of many African and African diasporic cultures for generations. Twerk’s message adds to ongoing broader conversations about cultural appropriation, and as Shani Haynes says, “the style of dance has always been here and I think it’s going to remain.”
A powerful performance piece, Human explores the impact of hateful language. Paint, paper, and the body replace spoken words to emphasize the visceral experience of violence, ultimately speaking back to its dehumanizing effects.
“I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Handsome and Majestic follows the story of transgender teen, Milan, and his quest for acceptance in his rural community of Prince George. Milan shines as a hero and a role model to other transgender and gender nonconforming youth, as he stands up to those who bully him.
Phoenix is a high school student who has a disapproving internal monologue, so much that she often struggles to breathe. In Failing Lungs we are confronted with the effects of stigmatization. Will Phoenix find relief?
Following Sierra Leone’s Civil War in 1991, Muna aims to put herself, and her community, back together by working at a rehabilitation centre for former soldiers. When a new patient arrives, the young nurse is faced with an unexpected choice. Muna is a powerful story about the long-lasting reverberations of war, and what it means to confront our oppressors.
Fifteen teenagers residing in Parkdale’s describe sleeping arrangements with their family members. Through anonymous interviews, we learn about their apartment spaces, family dynamics, and the ways they negotiate privacy. Through light-hearted moments, Sleeping with Family comments on the rarely discussed experience of sharing close quarters that many immigrant families in Toronto’s aging highrises experience.
It is more than just about getting the laugh in this conversation-style documentary. Meet Nigerian born stand-up comedian Ify Chiwetelu, fuelled by the dogma that women aren’t funny. Ify challenges the structures established in the stand up world while exploring her identity, and the lack of representation of Black female comedians.
Imagine a long shot of a back alleyway with chain link fences, garbage bins and walls of graffiti. Julian is seated on a fire escape and meets his friend on what seems like an ordinary day. Static conveys the intensity and urgency of being impacted too closely by violence.