Path Alias: 

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

(2013, 94 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Rahaman Ali, Gordon Davidson, Louis Farrakhan, Salim Muwakkil, Robert Lipsyte, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, John Carlos, Hana Ali, Abdul Rahman Muhammad, Abdul Bey Muhammad


Heroes don’t come more gold-plated than Muhammad Ali. But if you’re too young to remember the 1960s then you may be shocked to discover how controversial the heavyweight champion was in his heyday. Indeed, he was a constant thorn in the side of the establishment, and a hate figure for much of the mainstream media.

The evidence is in the archives: for years, reporters refused to accept Ali’s name change (he was born Cassius Clay). His refusal to play the white negro, and outspoken advocacy for Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam dismayed liberals. The last straw came when he refused to fight in Vietnam. The authorities stripped him of his heavyweight title and banned him from boxing. It was at that point Ali embarked on the greatest fight of his life, the fight outside the ring for recognition of his basic human rights.

"The best Muhammad Ali doc I’ve ever seen and - dare I say - I’ve seen ’em all.” Dave Zirin, The Nation

"A wholly illuminating look at Muhammad Ali in all his complexity, providing a surprisingly fresh and vivid portrait of a man who played rope-a-dope with history, religion and sport." Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

"Bill Siegel’s audacious documentary puts new heat and focus on what an extraordinary figure Muhammad Ali was outside the boxing ring. No film has probed this deeply into the fallout from his name change or his complex bond with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. And the saga of Ali’s refusal to be drafted during Vietnam becomes a profile in courage — a tale of shocking vilification and faith lost and found. A-" Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The Crash Reel

(2013, 108 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
FEATURING Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Mason Aguirre
Classification: 14A


"Faster, higher, stronger" proclaims the Olympics motto. But in the case of extreme winter sports, we’re still discovering the limits of how fast and how high the human body can be pushed - and still land safely. In the run up to the Vancouver Olympics, the sport of snowboarding was dominated by the accomplishments of superstar Shaun White. But White had a rival, also an American, by the name of Kevin Pearce. In fact through the 2007-2008 season, it was Pearce who was blazing the trail with his breathtaking, gravity-defying stunts.

That all changed on 31 December, 2009, when Pearce failed to land one of his jumps and struck his head on the pipe It was a near fatal accident resulting in serious brain trauma, and Pearce spent the Vancouver Games in critical care.

The other side of gung-ho extreme sports docs like Dogtown and Z Boys, the latest from Lucy Walker (Wasteland; Blindsight), The Crash Reel flips from breathtaking stunt footage to show the painful, emotionally wrought process of picking up the pieces after terrible injury. Overnight, a celebrity athlete becomes a pale shadow of his former self. His parents and loved ones can only stand patiently by and watch as Kevin has to relearn everything from speech to walking. Even then, his hardest lessons are still to come, when he must accept the dire risk that any further concussion poses.

"By turns pulse-quickening and contemplative… Thorougly winning… A spectacular feat." Variety

"Lucy Walker has assembled one of the great sporting docs - partly because its scope extends beyond the slopes." Trevor Johnston, Time Out

"Captures a seesaw exhilaration between the thrill of pushing one’s limits and the pain of dreams cut short." Robert Abele, LA Times

Hellenic Studies Live Reading

Films in Program

From the Shadows

Films in Program

Dia de los Muertos

Program Running Time 150 min.

Films in Program

(Day of the Dead Festival)
(Mexico, 150 mins, DVD)

This special event features film, music, painting, prayer and hot chocolate, all in honour of Mexico’s traditional holiday, "Dia de los Muertos."


From 6:15 p.m. Art exhibit and Altar with photos of deceased loved ones.

7:00 p.m. Film introduction and explanation of the day of the dead custom.

Followed by Film screening: Macario This 1960 classic of Mexican cinema is based on a novel by B. Traven (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), itself based on a folk tale. Ignacio Tarso plays a peasant who goes on hunger strike in the hope of a turkey dinner. He gets more than he bargained for when the Grim Reaper (Enrique Lucerio) strikes a deal with him.

8:40 p.m. Hot chocolate and prayer for the departed.

Followed by a short set of traditional songs performed by Mariachi Los Dorados.


Program Running Time 120 min.

Films in Program

(2013, 120 mins)

RADAR: Exchanges in Dance Film Frequencies is a program dedicated to the exploration and evolution of dance film through connecting artists scene by scene. Curated by filmmaker/curator Adam Sekuler and choreographer Shannon Stewart, RADAR features movement based films of many budgets, styles and perspectives, creating a platform of local/national and international exchange that allows artists to publicly screen their work, discuss, get feedback, and meet other artists working in the same form. Presented by Vancity Theatre in association with The Dance Centre.

People Uncounted

Program Running Time 99 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Aaron Yeger
(Canada, 2013, 99 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

A People Uncounted tells the story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies-a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture. The Roma have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe, most notably the Holocaust genocide where an estimated 500,000 were murdered. A People Uncounted documents their culturally rich yet often difficult lives, and demonstrates how their present state has been deeply shaped by the tragedies of the past.

“Profoundly moving…a powerful documentary on the plight of the Roma people through history…an expansive essay on prejudice and the resilience of the human spirit. 4 stars” Montreal Gazette

"The eye witness accounts in this film cry out to be heard." Chris Knight, National Post

Sample This

Program Running Time 85 min.

Films in Program