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Dear Jackie film image

Dear Jackie

Black History Month: Dispatches

Free Screening

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A FREE screening to kickstart our Black History Month Dispatches series, which also includes Our Dance of Revolution, James Baldwin Abroad, and 4 Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 1 and Programme 2), Dear Jackie  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. But did Montrealers use this historic moment to perpetuate a myth of a post-racial society?

Through eloquent interviews, archival footage, and powerful vérité moments shot in lustrous black and white, director Henri Pardo masterfully threads together fragments of the past with the present-day realities of Little Burgundy, once known as the “Harlem of the North”. Dear Jackie unfolds as an intimate correspondence with Robinson that unravels the myth of a post-racial society, and is a testament to the triumphs and resilience of a community whose stories reveal the insidious racial inequalities in Montreal and Quebec as a whole.

See also: The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, with James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor, for a lighter look at baseball’s Negro League history, circa 1939 (screening Sunday Feb 12 in our Black History Month Icons series).

Through these Black voices — expressed truthfully, articulately, with dignity and from the heart — that Canadians can learn the true history of their country.

Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight

Both a searing and stirring look at life and racism in the city, past and present.

Bill Brownstein, The Montreal Gazette


Henri Pardo

Country of Origin





In English and French with English subtitles


Recontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), Magnus Isacsson Award

90 min

Book Tickets

Thursday February 09

6:10 pm
Free Event Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Studio Theatre
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Katarina Soukup


Henri Pardo


Alex Margineanu, Vanessa Abhadir


Dominique Sicotte

Original Music

Ramachandra Borcar

Art Director

Marc-Alain Félix

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