“History does not belong to the past. History is the present. We carry our history with us, and to think otherwise is criminal.” James Baldwin
Co-presented with Visions Ouest Productions’ 29th Rendez-vous French Film Festival, Chien Blanc (White Dog) is a new adaptation of Romain Gary’s autobiographical novel, previously filmed by Samuel Fuller, starring Vancouver’s Kacey Rohl as actress Jean Seberg, and Denis Ménochet (The Beasts; French Dispatch; Inglorious Basterds) as her husband, Gary.
It is 1968. Racial tensions in the US are reaching a boiling point. French writer Romain Gary is living in Los Angeles with his wife, the actress Jean Seberg, an activist who is increasingly drawn into the Black Panthers’ struggle. When Gary encounters a stray dog, a German Shepherd, he adopts it, and the pet immediately befriends their only son, Diego. He is affectionate with everyone. Everyone, except Black people. His previous owner has trained him as a “White Dog”, to attack Blacks. Despite Seberg’s protests, Gary refuses to put him down, instead entrusting him to a kennel and animal trainer Keys (KC Collins), to purge the beast of its racist training.
Barbeau-Lavalette’s film explores the challenges and dilemmas of allyship in confronting the scourge of deeply entrenched racism.
Measured and powerful. ****
Feb 9: Q&A with special guest Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne as a part of La Tournée Québec Cinéma
Denis Ménochet, Kacey Rohl , K.C. Collins, Laurent Lemaire, Peter Bryant, Jhaleil Swaby, Chip Chuipka, Michaëna Benoit, Pascal Tshilambo, Melissa Toussaint
In French and English with English subtitles
Thursday February 09
Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne
Mathieu Charbonneau, Ralph Joseph « Waahli », Christophe Lamarche Ledoux, Maxime Veilleux
Catch More Black History Month Programming
More New Releases
Brown's moving film zeroes in on the descendants of the 110 slaves brought in on the last known slave ship to transport kidnapped Africans to America as human cargo, an illegal shipment undertaken as a bet by a local landowner, Timothy Meaher.
Alice Diop’s superb film, based on a notorious case of infanticide from a few years ago, subtly, almost surreptitiously evokes complex ideas and emotions around motherhood, gender, and marginalized communities.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
This boisterous comedy about a breakaway barnstorming Black baseball team in the 1930s should be better known. It's an entertaining gloss on one enterprising ball player's resourceful response to segregated leagues, with Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams.
Under the Cherry Moon (35mm)
Prince is Christopher Tracy, a gigolo on the French Riviera, determined to seduce $50 million heiress Kristin Scott Thomas (!). The pop star's directorial debut is a quirky, fun throwback to old school Hollywood glamour, with knobs on.
The most important movie Marvel has made to date, this Black blockbuster is a triumph for Creed director Ryan Coogler and star Chadwick Boseman. After the death of his father, T'Challa returns to the African nation of Wakanda to take his place as king.
Dear Jackie (Free Screening)
Henri Pardo's film 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.
James Baldwin Abroad: Istanbul - Paris - London
These three short docs, from 1968 - 1973, offer sharp, piercing glimpses of Baldwin in private and public, sometimes in repose and relaxed but more often holding forth, embroiled in the thorny discourse of racial politics, identity and self expression.
"This Time It's Personal" Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 1)
Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops and her partner James Hatch were courageous independent filmmakers who chronicled the ups and downs of their personal lives and family histories, and found in them the temperature of their times.
"This Time It's Personal" Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 2)
The second programme in our short selection of independent films by Camille Bishops and James Hatch includes what is probably their masterpiece, Finding Christa, a deeply personal film about Camille's relationship with the daughter she gave up for adoption as a child.
Our Dance of Revolution
Award-winning documentary on the history of Black queer activism in Toronto, on communities that have faced every adversity from invisibility to police brutality.