DEAR JACKIE is a cinematic letter to Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in Major League Baseball and a civil rights activist who broke the colour barrier when he joined the minor-league Montreal Royals in 1946. For a short time, the impossible seemed possible in a segregated North America. But did Montrealers use this historic moment to perpetuate a myth of a post-racial society?
Through eloquent interviews, archival footage, and powerful vérité moments shot in lustrous black and white, director Henri Pardo masterfully threads together fragments of the past with the present-day realities of Little Burgundy, once known as the “Harlem of the North”. DEAR JACKIE unfolds as an intimate correspondence with Robinson that unravels the myth of a post-racial society, and is a testament to the triumphs and resilience of a community whose stories reveal the insidious racial inequalities in Montreal and Quebec as a whole.
Henri Pardo is a graduate of the Institute of Image and Sound (Inis) in 2005. Henri wrote and directed the short film Sous-bois, which was funded by SODEC, and produced and directed the documentary series Black Wealth Matters. In 2016, Henri founded Black Wealth Media, a production company dedicated to developing and producing Afrocentric movies and film series.
More recently he worked as a producer developing four fiction web series, and has also produced the feature documentary Afro-Prosperity. In 2019, Black Wealth Media received funding from the CBC and the Corus Fund for the development of a documentary series on the history of African Canadians.
Henri has received support from the Documentary Chanel for the feature documentary Dear Jackie, which is produced by Katarina Soukup of Catbird Productions, as well as support for the writing of the feature film Kanaval, which is financed by Sodec and produced by Yzanakio films.
Henri has sat on the Doc Québec Executive Committee, a chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada. He is a founding member of Black on Black Films, the filmmakers collective of Afrodescendants. He regularly participates in many panels on cultural diversity.