documentaries

>> Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993)
Alanis Obomsawin
On a July day in 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades.

>> The People of the Kattawapiskak River (2012)
Alanis Obomsawin
Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River exposes the housing crisis faced by 1,700 Cree in Northern Ontario, a situation that led Attawapiskat’s band chief, Theresa Spence, to ask the Canadian Red Cross for help. With the Idle No More movement making front page headlines, this film provides background and context for one aspect of the growing crisis.

>> Century of Genocide in the Americas: The Residential School Experience (2002)
Rosemary Gibbons & Dax Thomas
A Century of Genocide in the Americas: The Residential School Experience is a short but powerful documentary about how Indian Residential Schools became a haven for institutionalized sexual abuse. The inspiration for the film comes from the First Nations survivors who have taken legal action against the institutions that perpetuated this destructive cycle; these are the very same institutions whose purpose and mandate was to “provide” for their well being. This video takes a historical look at how the systematic removal of First Nations children from their families and community not only made the them easy targets for pedophiles but also how these vile acts turned many of the victims into predators.

>> Dancing Around the Table, Part One (1987)
Maurice Bulbulian
A documentary about the Conferences on the Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (1983-85), focusing on the concept of self-government.

>> Dancing Around the Table, Part Two (1987)
Maurice Bulbulian
The sequel to Dancing Around the Table, Part One, this film deals with the constitutional negotiations with Canada’s Native peoples that took place between 1983 and 1985. It documents the fourth and final meeting between Canada’s Native leaders and the first ministers. Intercut between the speeches and debates of the conference are images and portraits of various Native people, highlighting the crucial importance this meeting has for their struggle for self-government.

>> The Invisible Nation (2007)
Richard Desjardins & Robert Monderie
The Algonquin once lived in harmony with the vast territory they occupied. This balance was upset when the Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Gradually, their Aboriginal traditions were undermined and their natural resources plundered. Today, barely 9,000 Algonquin are left. They live in about 10 communities, often enduring abject poverty and human rights abuses. These Aboriginal people are suffering the threat to their very existence in silence. Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie have decided to sound the alarm before it’s too late.

>> The Corporation (2003); website link
Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar
The documentary examines the modern-day corporation. It shows the development of the contemporary business corporation, from a legal entity that originated as a government-chartered institution meant to affect specific public functions, to the rise of the modern commercial institution entitled to most of the legal rights of a person. The documentary concentrates mostly upon North American corporations, especially those of the United States.

>> Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Michael Moore
The film centers on the late-2000s financial crisis and the recovery stimulus, while putting forward an indictment of the current economic order in the United States and capitalism in general. Topics covered include Wall Street’s “casino mentality”, for-profit prisons, Goldman Sachs’ influence in Washington, D.C., the poverty-level wages of many workers, the large wave of home foreclosures, corporate-owned life insurance, and the consequences of “runaway greed”. The film also features a religious component where Moore examines whether or not capitalism is a sin and if Jesus would be a capitalist, in order to shine light on the ideological contradictions among evangelical conservatives who support free market ideals.

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