My Internship in Canada focuses on the experiences of Souverain Pascal, recently arrived from Haiti on a mission to secure an internship in Canadian federal politics. Souverain receives a single response from Independent Member of Parliament, Steve Guibord. Souverain is thrust into the deep end when MP Guibord -- through a series of unlikely and surprising events -- holds the deciding vote in whether Canada will send troops to support the looming war.
Well, I recently attended the American Black Film Festival in New York City. This time, I was lucky to have a riveting conversation with four black actresses: Terri J. Vaughn, Garcelle Beauvais, Essence Atkins, and Malinda Williams. They're all starring in a T.V. movie coming out later this summer called "Girlfriends' Getaway 2."
If there was ever a time to educate our children, outside of the classroom, now is the time. Our earth is in crisis, the global population is expanding by approximately 80 million people a year, poverty is increasing dramatically, and we don't have enough fresh water for about 20 per cent of the population.
My father, Robert Hunter, had coined the term "mind bomb" as an expression that our greatest tool for revolution was our own consciousness. He believed that mass media (early broadcast media at the time) could help spark that consciousness shift and a societal shift by changing the story of our times. The reality is the tides are turning. Despite the stories of impossibility in the fight against climate change, there are some new stories being written of possibility. It will still take many more of us -- millions and billions of us -- to continue to share these news stories and to create the "mind bomb" moments.
Erika Lust's didn't want her daughters to grow up and be exposed to the commercialized and commoditized usage of women's bodies that is typical in mainstream porn; she demanded something different. Her bold emergence into the world of erotic filmmaking has been a breath of fresh air into the erotic genre industry.
I started to wish I was white. I didn't necessarily want to not be Chinese. I just wanted to look like the celebrities in the movies I watched. The online outrage at the casting of Quvenzhané Wallis in the titular role in Annie, and the simultaneous approval or silent passivity at that of Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead in The Prince of Persia, Rooney Mara as a Native American girl in Pan and Scarlett Johansson as a Japanese woman in Ghost in the Shell teaches people of colour that being white opens doors that'll always be closed to us. While I'm glad to see that people are more outspoken about diversity nowadays, there are bodies like the Academy that continue to try and mute their voices. This is inadequate for our multicultural society.
There are a number of lessons here for women. First, we have the capability to independently take our own journeys (metaphorically and in reality). We don't need a man. Next, we need to adjust our thinking about the events in our lives. Too often we ruminate on what we could have done differently or measure ourselves by an unachievable external bar, set way too high.
I have my own ideas about what it means to control your own life and the right a person should have to end that life if they choose. But I'm not writing this to spout my opinion on suicide. I'm writing this to tell a story I'll never have the chance to tell Robin Williams, as if I would've had a chance of ever meeting the man.
Canadian governments and broadcasters have been quietly withdrawing all support for documentary. Commercial television, now concentrated in the hands of a few megacorps, does its shareholder diligence by playing strictly to the cheap seats; its screens are filled with sporting fights, gun-toting men, bouncing breasts and dancing cats. Federal governments, increasingly influenced by neo-liberal doctrine, have been shrinking the NFB and CBC for a generation now while refusing to enforce license conditions which might force TV to create a little public parkland within the malling of our mindscapes.
This VIFF, the vast preponderance of films were projected digitally (only four out of 340 films at the fest were actually shown on film). Every film I saw looked and sounded great, insofar as there were no scratches, missing chunks, stutters, mis-projections, or glitches. It's hard to argue with perfection. That said, a new 35mm print of a film like Tarkovsky's Nostalghia is a cause for great excitement, and more than merited a talk with the Cinematheque's Jim Sinclair about film vs. digital, Tarkovsky, and other upcoming film fare.