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Four Feet Up - Youth, Fighting Poverty & Harm Reduction
Twenty years after the House of Commons promised "to eliminate poverty among Canadian children," 8-year-old Isaiah is trying hard to grow up healthy, smart and well adjusted despite the odds stacked against him. Isaiah knows he's been categorized as "less fortunate," and his short life has seen more than his…
The Downtown Project - Public Housing, Beyond the Stereotypes
Just a stone's throw from downtown Montreal is the largest social housing complex in Quebec. Built in 1959 where the red-light district used to be, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance have retained something of the area's seedy reputation for poverty, prostitution, drugs and violence. But who really knows the projects and the…
Courage - The Working Poor & Harm Reduction
In Toronto, Izabel, Bebeth, Natasha, Benoit, Grace and Jean, members of Ontario's "working poor" directly affected by the economic crisis, agree to take part in group sessions organized by filmmaker Geoff Bowie. They talk about having to work multiple jobs to get by, describe the stress generated by financial vulnerability,…
In the Name of All Canadians - The Canadian Socio-Political Atmosphere
Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms gets six fresh perspectives with IN THE NAME OF ALL CANADIANS, a compilation of short documentaries commissioned by Hot Docs. From Indigenous rights to the controversial 'notwithstanding clause,' participating filmmakers take the Charter's key tenets off the page and into the lived experiences of…
Between: Living in the Hyphen - Ethnicity & Identity for People of Mixed Heritage
In Canada, diversity often means "one ethnicity + hyphen + Canadian," but what if you don't fit into an easy category? What if your background is a hybrid of ancestries and you live somewhere between, where cultural identities overlap? BETWEEN: LIVING IN THE HYPHEN interweaves the experiences of a group…
Finding Dawn - Missing First Nations Women and the Highway of Tears
Dawn Crey. Ramona Wilson. Daleen Kay Bosse. These are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years. Directed by acclaimed Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh, Finding Dawn is a compelling documentary that puts a human face to…
Goddess Remembered
This poetic documentary is a salute to 35 000 years of "pre-history," to the values of ancestors only recently remembered, and to the goddess-worshipping religions of the ancient past. Goddess Remembered features Merlin Stone, Carol Christ, Luisah Teish, Starhawk, Charlene Spretnak, and Jean Bolen, who link the loss of goddess-centred…
One Big Hapa Family - The Japanese-Canadian Identity
After a realization at a family reunion, half Japanese-Canadian filmmaker, Jeff Chiba Stearns, embarks on a journey of self-discovery to find out why everyone in his Japanese-Canadian family married interracially after his grandparents' generation. This feature live action and animated documentary explores why almost 100% of all Japanese-Canadians are marrying…
Across the Creek - The Lakota People Regaining Traditional Values
Across the Creek explores both the unbridled dreams and the painful reality of Lakota people from South Dakota. In the face of unfathomable challenges, they are taking steps to better their lives. "It's still here." That's the assurance of Lakota elder Albert White Hat that the spirituality, songs and power…
The Chinese Gardens
The Chinese Gardens looks at the lost Chinese community in Port Townsend, WA, examining anti-Chinese violence in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800s and drawing connections between past and present race relations in the United States. Through text, brief interviews, and images of the empty spaces of Port Townsend's…
Yeah You Rite! - Language in New Orleans
The culture of New Orleans represents the mixing of many rich traditions: French, Spanish, African, Irish, Italian. At the heart of this unique culture lie its speechways, the subject of Yeah You Rite!, a close-up video profile of a single language community. New Orleans English has been influenced by the…
Mosquitoes and High Water - The Islenos of New Orleans
In the bayous and swamps east of New Orleans reside members of one of America's least-known ethnic group, the Spanish-speaking "Islenos" of St. Bernard Parish. Their ancestors came to this country over two hundred years ago from the Canary Islands off the West coast of Africa, and today their descendants…