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March-April 2020

Lacking representation

South Asian representation on screen is not as sparse as it once was; but what does representation mean if it isn’t any good?

Rachna Raj Kaur

In North America, many Hollywood stars of Indian descent are household names: Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra, Kumail Nanjiani, Hasan Minhaj, and Scarborough native Lilly Singh. According to YouTubers Colin and Samir, Hollywood has realized that Indians—in North America and India—have the buying power to demand representation on screen. I think we’ve always known this, but […] More »
March-April 2020

Whose stories get archived?

Toronto's Little Jamaica neighbourhood deserves to be part of public memory

Sharine Taylor

Living in Toronto means I’m not too far from Jamaica. Not because geography affords proximity, but because the presence of the diaspora has made itself known. Over 200,330 people of Jamaican descent reside in Toronto alone, and that’s evident by the countless restaurants, small businesses, specialty shops, and grocery stores that populate the city. Though […] More »
January-February 2020

How horror helps us overcome our fears

And why it becomes popular during frightening times

Adam Pottle

Horror has always been a marginalized genre, a misunderstood, even reviled vehicle dismissed as a disgusting, juvenile playpen for amateur talents. When it does become popular—such as during the post-Hiroshima years, or Nixon’s tenure in the early seventies—it has a brief moment in the limelight before being relegated back to the shadows. So why has […] More »

Regina’s Queer City Cinema

Film festival turns lens away from the mainstream

Chris Stoodley

When you imagine international hubs for radical contemporary cinema and performance, Regina might not come to mind; but it should—and that’s thanks to Gary Varro. In 1995, Varro was an assistant curator at the Dunlop Art Gallery inside the Regina Public Library. Around that time, the space was displaying an exhibition on Indigenous representation in […] More »

TIFF needs more women

This year's festival shined a light on some of the best films directed by women. A film critic on why TIFF must go even further

José Teodoro

Bear with me while I state the obvious: No paucity is more appalling in cinema history than that of women in the role of director—the role most closely linked with creative power and authorial vision. For an industry typically associated with liberal ideals, the movies have remained tethered to a fiercely gynophobic paradigm for its […] More »
May-June 2017

New film follows a Toronto sexual assault trial, featuring an all-female crew

Behind the scenes of Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial

Leah Lalich@LeahLalich

The same day the Jian Ghomeshi trial began at Toronto’s Old City Hall, another sexual assault trial was taking place just one floor above. Kelly Showker’s upcoming documentary film, Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial, follows York University PhD student Mandi Gray as she settles her human rights case with the university, following […] More »
March-April 2017

New film takes a much-needed glance into Canada’s uncomfortable past with racism and slavery

An inside look at Howard J. Davis's C'est Moi

Melissa Gonik

She strolls softly through a deserted modern-day Montreal. Her outfit—and the way she seems to float through the streets—indicate her lack of connection to this modern scene. This is Marie-Josèphe Angélique, a slave “owned” by François Poulin of Montreal in the early 1730s. Canadian filmmaker Howard J. Davis uses his film C’est Moi as an […] More »
January-February 2017

Exploring bilingualism and English-speaking privilege at a Montreal movie theatre

What columnist andrea bennett learned from watching a Xavier Dolan film as a native English speaker—and what Anglophones take for granted

andrea bennett@akkabah

Still from C’est juste la fin du monde, via YouTube. One Sunday last November, my friend Megan and I met at a French-language movie theatre in Rosemont–La Petite Patrie in Montreal. I stood in line for matinee tickets, and then Megan and I bought popcorn. I ordered maïs soufflé, un regulier; the worker at the counter […] More »
November-December 2016

Hollywood’s problem with Latinx representation

Maid. Drug dealer. Vixen. Popular shows and movies are filled with harmful Latinx tropes. Nadya Sarah Domingo examines the damaging effects of our homogenous media culture

Nadya Sarah Domingo@NadyaWithAWhy

A couple of years ago, a stranger approached me while I was volunteering at a film festival in Toronto. She motioned to a group of friends standing nearby. They placed a bet on my ethnicity, she explained, and wanted to know where I was from. I smiled and patiently regurgitated my now-rehearsed response: I was […] More »
November-December 2016

New documentary explores the oppressive realities of capitalism from within a Montreal neighbourhood

Stone Story follows Martin Stone between his 70th and 71st years

andrea bennett@akkabah

We meet Martin Stone on the eve of his 70th birthday: grey hair, goofy smile, his facial expressions vacillating between a childish joy and a more distant sadness. Originally from the U.S., he now shares a dirt-cheap Mile End apartment with a revolving cast of roommates in Montreal. In the mid-1960s, Stone left a lucrative ad […] More »
November-December 2016

New documentary exposes Canada’s abusive migrant labour program

Min Sook Lee's Migrant Dreams delves into the Temporary Foreign Worker Program's precarious issues

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

If you look at a map of southern Ontario, Leamington seems no more remarkable than the other small towns that dot Lake Erie’s coastline. Yet, in Min Sook Lee’s documentary Migrant Dreams, the 30,000-population town becomes the setting of a much bigger issue. Leamington has the largest concentration of greenhouses in North America. And, thanks to […] More »