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Sembene!

(2015, 89 mins, DCP)
In English, French
Directors:
CAST Samba Gadjigo, Alain Sembene, Fatoumata Coulibaly, Nafi Ndoye, Manthia Diawara, Boubacar Boris Diop
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 09 06:30 pm

Black History Month 5-Film Ticket Pack is available for $35

BUY 5 FILM TICKET PACK $35

In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. Sembene! a feature-length documentary, tells the incredible true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans.

A reader who studied Marx, Neruda, Jack London, Birago Diop, Richard Wright and Hemingway, the self-taught Sembène published his first poem in 1956 and before returning to Africa in 1960 published three successful novels. During a 1961 tour of Africa, then exploding with revolutionary fervor, creative possibility and post-colonial backlash, this laborer-turned-writer recognized that African people could not be effectively reached through written literature in any language. Cinema, however, could tell the essential stories of Africa to the African people. Sembène chose to devote his energies to creating emancipating and restorative images for the African people.

After his first, award-winning feature Black Girl (1966), Sembène began building the literary and cinematographic legacy that today situates him the "father" of African films. Sembène was among the first filmmakers to "indigenize" cinema, forgoing Hollywood-style moviemaking for African narrative structures and aesthetics. He created his own production company, working independently of the European system that continues to dictate filmmaking practice in Africa today.

Sembène’s introduction of genuinely African film aesthetics informed cinematic practice both in Africa and around the world, offering inspiration for other marginalized societies, whose members began to pick up cameras and tell their own stories. Sembene’s career culminated with Moolaade, an award-winner at the 2004 Cannes film festival.

Sembene! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, Sembene! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions.

Ninth Floor

(2015, 81 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 15 06:30 pm
Feb 16 06:30 pm

Black History Month 5-Film Ticket Pack is available for $35

BUY 5 FILM TICKET PACK $35

It was the late 60s and Montreal was still basking in the glow of Expo 67, its great moment in the international spotlight—and then came the biggest student uprising in Canada’s history. The Sir George Williams Affair, as it came to be known, started quietly when a few Caribbean students at Sir George Williams University (which later merged into Concordia) lodged a formal complaint against one of their professors, accusing him of racism. Nothing happened for months. Bureaucratic foot-dragging, said some; institutional racism, said others. But what began quietly would end in a violent and widely reported confrontation in the computer lab on the upper floors of the university’s downtown Hall Building.

Mina Shum’s (Double Happiness; Drive, She Said) first feature documentary reopens the file on what is now seen as a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and campus politics.

"The archival material in Ninth Floor is incendiary and unforgettable…" Mallory Andrews, Cinema Scope

"Another great doc, more proof of the value of the National Film Board." Susan G. Cole, Now

Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man's World

(2006, 45 mins, DVD)
In English, French, German with English subtitles
Director:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 09 08:15 pm

Black History Month 5-Film Ticket Pack is available for $35

BUY 5 FILM TICKET PACK $35

"I had been suffocating in the United States… A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn’t stand it anymore…"

This is a tender, revealing documentary about one of the most famous and popular artist of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theatre history; her song "J’ai deux amours" became a classic, and her hymn. The film focuses on her life and work from a black perspective. It portrays the artist in the mirror of European colonial clichés and presents her as a resistance fighter, an ambulance driver during WWII, and an outspoken activist against racial discrimination involved in the worldwide Black Consciousness movement of the 20th century.

During the mid-1920s Baker found fame in Paris, performingat the Théatre des Champs-Élysées and eventually the FoliesBergères. Some may argue it came at a cost; she oftenpreformed in erotic costumes with racist overtones. There is continuous footage of a bare-chested Baker with bananas around her waist—the bananas representing a phallic symbol. She had become the primitive savage and this image was to become a massive marketing tool. The dance routines are seen as distasteful now, but at the time it was ’an…aspect of a Black popular culture forced to adapt to white tastes.’ Because the routines were new and exotic, the French crowds loved her. She did find hostile reactions in Germany and Austria (more conservative in nature), where she was booed on stage. Her adopted son comments Baker ’wasn’t proud’ of that chapter in her life. As her career flourished, a fully-clothed Baker went on to become a superstar in France. But sadly nothing had changed in America, where the "artist [was] admired on stage, but came though the kitchen." She struggled to find acceptance with the white American audiences, and returned to Paris broken hearted.

But you have to admire Baker for more than just a performer. In 1940, Baker joined the French Resistance to help in the war effort. It is said she was a visionary for world peace, adopting 12 children of different nationalities, long before Angelina Jolie made it fashionable. In the 1960s, she joined the anti-racist movement spreading throughout America, and was the only woman to speak at the 1963 Walk on Washington rally: "…you can’t put freedom at the lips of the people and don’t expect them to drink it."

Baker’s career spanned fifty years, and she is portrayed as a true superstar, one with grace and humility. Black Americans loved her, the French referred to her as their "Black Venus" and in the last years of her life white, American audiences gave her the standing ovation she longed for. Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man’s World really shines with the 1920s footage of Baker’s dancing routines. It captures an era long passed, and although the routines leave an unpleasant taste, with their racist overtones, one can appreciate Baker’s intense energy and comedian abilities. With the odds stacked against her Baker forged a career and life which would inspire many.." Pat Reid

"Inspiring." Donald Levit, Reel Talk

Reclamation

(Esterdad)
(2013, 105 mins, DCP)
In Iranian
Director:
CAST Hamid Farrokhnezhad, Farhad Ghaemian, Alesa Kacher, Alexander Navanov, Saleh Mirza Aghaie, Sivash Cheraghi Pour

Showtimes

Feb 29 06:30 pm

After 1953 Iranian coup d’état, when General Fazlollah Zahedi is appointed as prime minister, a delegation is sent to Russia to reclaim the World War 2 indemnity. This is the beginning of some perilous adventures for Colonel Takin who is commissioned to fetch eleven tons of Gold to Iran…

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Iranian Film

The True Cost

(2015, 92 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: 19+

This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Andrew Morgan’s The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on an untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

A portion of proceeds will be donated to Battered Women’s Support Services and the screening will include a pop-up shop by My Sister’s Closet.

"A distressing overview of the consequences of our addiction to fast fashion… The True Cost stirs and saddens." Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Ninotchka

(1939, 110 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Sig Ruman, Felex Bressart
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 14 06:40 pm

In which Greta Garbo is a Communist emissary from Soviet Russia, an idealogue whose stony heart melts under the decadent charm of Melvyn Douglas in a sublimely romantic Paris. Written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch, two of them European emigres, the film casts capitalism as a human virtue, along with love, laughter, silly hats and Champagne. Times change of course, but perhaps not so much: whether the alternative is Stalinism or Islamic Fundamentalism it is hard to argue with the movie’s unapologetic joie de vivre.

"Ninotchka is delicate flirtation and political satire made into a perfect whole, and a reminder of skills that studio writers have largely lost. In their moment, the film’s Stalin jokes got bigger yuks than they do now, but sublimely, the sense of romantic dislocation has lost none of its swirl or heat. Famously, Garbo opened that clenched mouth of hers and laughed like a loon; the feelings you’ll have will go deeper." Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

The Reflecting Skin

(1990, 96 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper

Showtimes

Feb 26 10:20 pm

As mysterious deaths plague a small American prairie town, eight year-old Seth comes to believe that the pale, reclusive widow living next door (Lindsay Duncan) is a vampire. Seth’s worst nightmare comes true when his older brother Cameron (Viggo Mortensen) returns home from abroad and falls in love with the widow – will he be next? The truth is much more shocking than Seth could imagine.

Written and directed by Philip Ridley (Heartless) and hauntingly photographed by Oscar-nominee Dick Pope (Mr Turner), the film caused a sensation at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, went on to win eleven international awards, and has amassed an ever-growing cult following ever since.

Our Last Tango

(Un tango más)
(2015, 85 mins, DCP)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Director:
FEATURING Maria Nieves Rego, Juan Carlos Copes
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 23 08:30 pm

María Nieves Rego (81) and Juan Carlos Copes (84) met when they were 14 and 17, and they danced together for nearly 50 years. In all those years they loved and hated each other and went through several painful separations, but always got back together. Now, Juan and María are willing to open up about their love, their hatred, and their passion. In Our Last Tango Juan and María tell their story to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers from Buenos Aires, who transform the most beautiful, moving and dramatic moments of Juan and Maria’s lives into incredible tango-choreographies.

"Beyond having compelling subjects and a constantly inventive, ever-changing look — Kral’s colour filters and filming style change with the time periods being discussed, ultimately blending seamlessly with the actual archival footage— Our Last Tango also features an endless array of astonishingly choreographed and executed dancing. Both the archival footage of the documentary subjects and the dancer recreations are highly compelling, adding a kinetic element to what is otherwise a linear documentation of written history… There’s a little something for everyone here." Robert Bell, exclaim!

Talking Stick presents Reel Reservations: The Embargo Project

(Cinematic Indigenous Sovereignty series)
(2015, 72 mins, DCP)
In French/Mohawk/Cree/Inuktitut/English/Sámi with English subtitles
Directors:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 25 08:30 pm

Arising from the Embargo Collective II project, this feature-packaged collection of five short films is based on Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions. Five Canadian Indigenous female filmmakers challenged one another with creative restrictions pushing their artistic form,

Caroline Monnet

Caroline Monnet is an award-winning filmmaker. She works in film/video, printmaking and installation, and has been exhibited in galleries and film festivals around the world. Her short videos Ikwé and Warchild were both selected for TIFF and her recent short film, Gephyrophobia, was selected for Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent showcase at Cannes.

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril is an award-winning filmmaker who works in documentary and animation. Her work has been to festivals including Hot Docs and imagineNATIVE. Most recently, she was an executive producer on the Canadian Screen Award winning short film Throat Song that screened at TIFF and also made the 2014 Academy Awards shortlist.

Zoe Hopkins

An alumnus of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, Zoe Leigh Hopkins short films have screened around the world at festivals including Sundance, Worldwide Short Film Festival and Berlin. Her most recent short film Mohawk Midnight Runners won the Best Canadian Short Drama at imagineNATIVE 2013.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’s films have screened at numerous international festivals including imagineNATIVE and the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2012, her short film A Red Girl’s Reasoning won the Best Canadian Short Drama at imagineNATIVE. She is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Lisa Jackson

Named one of Playback Magazine’s "10 to Watch" in 2012, Lisa Jackson’s genre-blending films span documentary,

animation and fiction. Her film Savage won the Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2010. She is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre.

Southbound

(2015, 89 mins, DCP)
Directors:
CAST Roxanne Benjamin, Kate Beahan, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Susan Burke, Zoe Cooper, Gerald Downey, Karla Droege, Larry Fessenden, Dana Gould, Hassie Harrison
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Feb 19 09:10 pm
Feb 20 09:10 pm
Feb 25 06:30 pm

A deserted stretch of lonely highway is all it takes to pull together this eerie anthology film, a remarkably cohesive and consistent collaborative effort pulled together by the makers of V/H/S.

"The horror anthology genre gets a shot in the arm with Southbound, an uncommonly cohesive and intelligent example of the form. Featuring five spooky tales taking place on and around a dusty highway going nowhere, the film avoids the cheap shocks and campy humor seen all too often in such efforts […] Its tales linked by the commentary of a radio DJ voiced by genre stalwart Larry Fessenden, the film begins with Radio Silence’s The Way Out, in which two blood-soaked men, who’ve clearly had a long and perilous night, seek refuge in a roadside diner…

The vignettes are cleverly interwoven by having situations or characters bleeding over from one to the next, and despite the multiple helmers and scripters involved the film boasts a strong stylistic consistency. Featuring fine performances by its ensemble — Fabianne Therese, as a suspicious rocker, and Mather Zickel, as an ill-fated driver, are particularly outstanding — Southbound should well please genre fans nostalgic for the likes of Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow." Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"Southbound is a crazy little open-road horror anthology that’s a chilling, thrill-seeking blast, and while there are expected peaks and valleys, every short has its own horrific charms." Mike Donato, We Got This Covered

"It’s quite possible to have mixed feelings about Southbound—not because of the film’s quality but because of all the imitators it might spawn that can’t help but be worse. Loosely centered on a stretch of highway in the American West, this anthology of five horror tales is the rare group effort without a dud, as it cruises through variations on the genre with style and confidence." Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

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