Well into the “second wave” of the COVID pandemic in the province of Quebec, we’re finding the inspiration and potential to operate as “business-not-as-usual”. We have many fantastic new titles to discover, and while it is not the same as hosting in-person screenings, there is solace in the sense of community we can still cultivate online while sharing and discussing truly inspiring cinema. Discover the new additions to the Cinema Politica catalogue below:
Natasha Florentino / USA / 2017 / 60’ / English
ABUNDANT LAND is about a Hawaiian community on Moloka’i opposing the biotech industry’s use of the island to test genetically engineered seeds. Agrochemical biotech corporations, including Monsanto and Mycogen Seeds, are depleting Moloka’i’s topsoil and fresh water while contributing to dust storms that spread pesticides into the ocean and surrounding communities.
Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard / USA / 2017 / 84’ / English
For 40 years, the controversial community organizing group ACORN sought to empower marginalized communities. Its critics, though, believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with liberal ideals, promoting government waste and ineffective activism. These competing perceptions exploded on the national stage in 2009, just as Barack Obama became president. Fueled by a YouTube video made by undercover journalists, ACORN’s very existence would be challenged. ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM goes beyond the 24-hour news cycle and cuts to the heart of the great political divide.
Jean-Laurence Seaborn & Jonathan Seaborn / Canada / 2017 / 77 ‘ / French – English subtitles
On October 26, 2012, a red dust covers Quebec city, more specifically the Limoilou neighbourhood where Véronique Lalande and her partner have purchased a duplex to raise their one year old son. Iron oxide, nickel, zink, copper, arsenic and other heavy metals fall on the neighbourhoods surrounding the city’s harbour, which is home to Arrimage du Saint-Laurent—the largest nickel transporter in North America. Since this day, Véronique has been calling, writing and convening meetings; sharing her indignation and her desire for a healthy environment. Will this simple citizen succeed in compelling a multinational company to comply with the law?
Anne Reijniers, Paul Shemisi, Nizar Saleh, Rob Jacobs / Belgium, Democratic Republic of Congo / 2019 / 58’ / French, Lingala, Flemish – English subtitles
Two Congolese and two Belgian filmmakers decided to film the explosion of political art in Kinshasa, in the process making a rare portrait of the country. What does it mean to collaborate on a film project when your partners come from the opposite side of colonial history? Who should the film be for? What is the right way to use a camera with subjects who have a love-hate relationship with it? Faire-part is an honest and inspiring reflection on the challenges facing today’s African filmmakers.
Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera / USA / 2019 / 95’ / Spanish, English – English subtitles
THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who get arrested by Border Patrol, and put in a shadowy for-profit detention center – on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical Dreamers who are on a mission to stop deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri try to pull off their heist – a kind of ‘prison break’ in reverse – things don’t go according to plan.
(Canada and US only) Jenny Murray / USA / 2018 / 96’/ Spanish – Eng subtitles
¡LAS SANDINISTAS! uncovers the untold stories of women who shattered barriers to lead combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and the ensuing US-backed Contra War, as these same women continue as leaders in the struggle against their current government’s suppression of democracy and women’s rights.
Tom Burke / USA / 2018 / 83’ / English
An urgent story reveals the drastic consequences of climate change. Due to rising temperatures, the village of Newtok, Alaska is slowly vanishing into the sea. The 375 inhabitants of this vast and beautiful area of permafrost have lived for years with the constant fear of their village literally sinking. We see how the Yup’ik support themselves by fishing and hunting in the traditional way. Fearful questions divide the tight-knit fishing community: will they have to abandon their village and leave for another part of the country, or will they move to firmer ground nearby?
Hassan Fazili / USA, Canada / 2018 / 87’ / English, Bulgarian, Persian – English subtitles
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee the country with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing the family’s uncertain journey firsthand, Fazili documents their harrowing trek across numerous borders revealing the danger and uncertainty facing refugees seeking asylum juxtaposed with the unbreakable love shared amongst the family on the run.
Cynthia Lowen / USA / 2018 / 96’ / English
NETIZENS delves into the lives of three women whose lives have been transformed by online harassment. Carrie Goldberg is an attorney in New York City, who launches an internet privacy and sexual assault law firm in the wake of her own cyber harassment. Tina Reine, in West Palm Beach, is a successful businesswoman whose career is derailed after an ex-boyfriend creates numerous reputation-harming websites. San Francisco-based Anita Sarkeesian is the creator of a popular web-series, “Feminist Frequency,” critiquing representations of women in video games, who is the target of a cyber-mob’s ongoing campaign of rape and death threats.
(Canada only) Rogério Soares / Canada / 2019 / 90’ / Portuguese – English subtitles
Director Rogério Soares whisks audiences to a bend in the Xingu River to witness a state of affairs that one subject in the film aptly describes as “post-nature.” RIVER SILENCE is a bleak portrait of the area surrounding the Belo Monte Dam, which has displaced 40,000 people and all but annihilated the natural environment. Poverty and death saturate the frame as Soares tours the riverside and the outlying areas to which former residents have been displaced in housing projects.
Imre Azem / Turkey, Germany / 2017 / 52’ / German, English, Turkish – English subtitles
For the first time a documentary shows the radical changes in Turkey from an inner perspective and what it means to be part of the opposition. Turkish filmmaker Imre Azem accompanies four protagonists for one year in the state of emergency: Fatih Polat, journalist and editor in chief of the left-wing Newspaper Evernsel; Gül Köksal, one of the first academics fired by the state; activist Deniz Özgür and Mücella Yapici, “mother“ of the Gezi protests and member of the Chamber of Architects in Istanbul.