With love, from Canada

movie mania

The ongoing Canadian Film Festival has packaged films made by immigrants who’ve made Canada  their home

Even as IHC brings Korean films to town, its older counterpart India International Centre is wooing cine lovers with a two-week long Canadian fest parallely, from 15-29 June. The package is a combination of feature films and select documentaries showcasing stories of rich ethnic diversities as the theme revolves around ‘Cultural Diversity’ this time. These films have been made by immigrants of various nationalities who have made Canada their home.

There have already been five screenings in the last two weeks. The remaining are to be held on June 27 and 29. The festival started with the screening of Incendies (2010). Directed by Denis Villeneuve, it is a French film about two siblings Jeanne and Simon whose mother’s last wish sends them on a journey to the Middle East in search of their roots.

Love and Other Dilemmas (2006) is directed by Larry Di Stefano and is an escalating comedy of errors where the bride is determined to have a perfect wedding even though she has been robbed, kidnapped and thinks her fiancé is dead. Added to it is her eight-month pregnancy.

Barney’s Version (2010), directed by Richard J. Lewis, is based on the novel by Mordecai Richler. It is a picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky.

Carry Me Home and Men of the Deeps, two documentaries are based on two of Canada’s top professional choirs. Carry Me Home (2003) is directed by Liam Romalis and Gerald Packer and is the story and music of Toronto’s Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Canadian composer R. Nathaniel Dett was known for use of folk songs and spirituals for choral and piano compositions in the romantic style. Through interviews with musicians, the film provides an insight on Dett's path-breaking compositions and his influence on Afro Canadian music.

Men of the Deeps (2003) by John Walker captures the grace and dignity of a group of men whose livelihood has been lost but who use their voices to inspire and uplift. They are all members of the Men of the Deeps chorus, whose performances of traditional and contemporary songs evoke memories of their lives as miners formerly.

Sticky Fingers (2009) will be screened tomorrow. Directed by Ken Scott it is a French film about how a group of criminals committed the perfect crime but only one of them got away with the two million dollars. Now, the rest are out of jail and are offered to reclaim their share of the loot only if they reform their characters.

The final screening Monsieur Lazhar (2011) directed by Philippe Falardeau is again a French film about Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant teacher, who develops a relationship with his elementary school class after their previous teacher kills herself. Using sensitivity and humour, the film follows a humble man who is ready to transc­end his loss in order to acco­m­pany children beyond the silence and taboo of death.

The film festival is a part of the IIC summer tradition that plays host to new Canadian feature films. However, since the past few years, breakthrough documentaries have also been a part of this festival.

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