There’s no debate about this question: Where’s the best place to catch documentaries in Montreal? Cinema Politica! The pwyc film series (we interviewed co-founder Ezra Winton HERE) offered every Monday night at Concordia University allows everyone — not just Concordia students — to see current films on social justice issues. Directors, producers, and professors often are on hand to discuss the film after the screening.
This winter’s series, which started January 19 and continues until April, covers a range of topics that go from contemporary political issues to gender issues to concerns about food and health. Every film promises to raise questions about the world we live in and raise awareness about topics. If you’re interested in checking a few out, here are some we recommend.
One Wedding and No Funerals
When war threatens Syrians and Palestinians, five refugees decide to flee to Sweden via Italy. An Italian journalist and a Palestinian poet decide to help the refugees (and avoid being busted as traffickers) by faking a wedding. On the Bride’s Side raises issues about the plight of those in war-torn countries, the sincere hopes for refugees, and a shadow side of Europe that operates beneath the wars. January 26.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
As they are now known, the New Jersey 4 are a group of African American lesbians and friends who defended themselves against a violent homophobic attacker. The scrum was captured on security camera. Out in the Night looks at their unfair conviction in which they were charged with gang assault, assault, and attempted murder. The media called them the “Gang of Killer Lesbians.” This depressing but important film looks at issues of race, gender, and the criminal (in)justice system. February 2.
Five Star Prison Past
Life after prison is hard. Life after prison when you’re Aboriginal proves to be even harder. Charismatic Chris Hoard spent most of his life behind bars, enough that he claims an ability to “rate every prison in Canada on a five star basis.” In Anti-Social Limited, Hoard makes a go of a clean life by starting an all-Native renovation and construction company. However, the past is never far behind. March 2
Too Young to Be Personal and Political
In addition to the normal difficulties of coming out and thriving, LGBT teens and tweens in Russia are seen as sick, sinful, and abnormal. Russian President Vladmir Putin passed a bill forbidding the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minor.” Children 404 is a film about the online project that collects the testimonies of 45 such teens as they document their lives anonymously. This film is special for Cinema Politica as the orgnaization helped raise funds for the project through an Indiegogo campaign. The film not only showcases with Cinema Politica, but also as part of Hot Docs. March 23.
Cinema Politica at Concordia showcases its films every Monday at 7 p.m. in room H-110 (1455 Maisonneuve W). Films are pwyc. For full list of screenings and links, click here.