2021 Social Justice Film Series Draft


Mauro Family Fund LogoWe believe in the power of cinema to breed empathy and understanding!  We believe in a transformative cinema that can create a more equal and just world.

Through the support of The Mauro Family Foundation, we bring you groundbreaking documentaries and films that will stir you from your seat, and into action!!


6 Tons of Steel: Building Bloody Saturday
dir. Erika MacPherson
2019 | Canada | 44 mins
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

An Indigenous apprentice Ironworker in a city that for a hundred years suppressed the memory of its formative struggles learns his trade building a monument to the streetcar tipped over during the bloody climax of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. He is joined by a colourful cast of fellow workers; activists; an anarchist; community organizer; a chorus; a labour historian; and a Winnipeg born, Chinese-Metis veteran octogenarian Ironworker with fifty-plus years of labour history. In this affecting documentary, intersecting characters embark on a journey to reveal the enigmatic and evocative strike story as the streetcar monument takes shape.


dir. Mo Scarpelli
2018 | Italy / Ethiopia / United States | 86 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

From their little house just outside the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-year-old Asalif and his mother look out on rows of newly-built, concrete apartment blocks. From the forest behind their house, they hear the hyenas howl at night. They used to live where the condominiums now stand. Asalif’s mother had a plot of land there, where she grew crops and kept animals. Now, developers already have their eyes on their new home—they’re worse than the hyenas, his mother says.


Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, TheThe body Remembers when the world broke open
dir. Kathleen Hepburn / Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
2019 | Canada / Norway | 105 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

When Áila encounters a young Indigenous woman, barefoot and crying in the rain on the side of a busy street, she soon discovers that this young woman, Rosie, has just escaped a violent assault at the hands of her boyfriend. Áila decides to bring Rosie home with her and over the course of the evening, the two navigate the aftermath of this traumatic event. Inspired by a very real and transformative moment in the co-director Elle-Máijá Tailfeather’s life, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN weaves an intricately complex, while at the same time very simple, story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experience, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse.

Breaking The SilenceBreaking The Silence
dir. Priscilla Padilla
2020 | Columbia / Bolivia | 83 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Manitoba

Luz, from the Emberá Chamí Indigenous community in Colombia, left her home territory for Bogotá when she discovered she underwent female genital mutilation at birth. The Emberá is one of the few communities in South America that still carries out the practice, a brutal byproduct of colonialism.

Far from her family, Luz struggles to make her way in the relentless city, until she meets Claudia, a fellow Emberá Chamí and activist. Through the strength of their friendship, Claudia decides to travel to Luz’s home to start a dialogue with other Indigenous women and encourage them to make critical and urgent changes to end the practice of female genital mutilation. Through her intimate approaches to filming, director Priscila Padilla has crafted a deeply sensitive and breathtaking film that follows the women in their journey to break ties with colonialism and recover their ancestral wisdom of body–earth connection.

  • Top 10 Audience Choice favourites at Hot Docs 2020`


dir. Todd Chandler
2020 | United States | 85 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

Bulletproof explores the complexities of violence in schools by looking at the ways in which we try to prevent it. The film travels across the United States, observing the age-old rituals that take place daily in and around American schools: homecoming parades, basketball practice, morning announcements, and math class. Unfolding alongside these scenes are an array of newer traditions: lockdown drills, teacher firearm training, metal detector inspections, and school safety trade shows. Bulletproof weaves together these moments in a cinematic meditation on fear, violence, and the meaning of safety, bringing viewers into intimate proximity with the people self-tasked with protecting the nation’s children while generating revenue along the way, as well as with those most deeply impacted by these heightened security measures: students and teachers.


County, The (Héraðið)The County
dir. Grímur Hákonarson
2019 | Iceland  / Denmark / Germany / France | 92 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Canada

The new film from Grímur Hákonarson, director of Rams. Set in a small Icelandic farming community, THE COUNTY tells the story of Inga, a middle-aged dairy farmer who rebels against the all powerful local Cooperative. Inga tries to get other farmers to join her in rising up against the Co-op’s corruption, but encounters great resistance, forcing her to confront the community’s dependence and loyalty to this single, dominant enterprise. Inga must use her resourcefulness and cunning to break free of the Co-op’s grasp and finally live life on her own terms.


Dope is DeathDope is Death
dir. Mia Donovan
2020 | Canada | 78 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Manitoba

For over 50 years, alternative medicine practitioners have advocated the use of acupuncture as part of treatment for drug addiction. However, few people know that this practice evolved in large part thanks to the Black Panthers, radical liberation politics and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Tupac Shakur’s stepfather. Dope is Death turns the clock back to 1970, at the height of the heroin epidemic in the South Bronx, where a group of political radicals—fed up with inaction—occupied New York’s Lincoln Hospital. Under the leadership of Shakur, the Lincoln Detox clinic became the first and only politically run drug treatment program funded by the US government. Inspiring and enraging in equal measure, the story of Lincoln Detox and the civil rights organizations that supported it testifies to the continuous need to explore this period in US history—a time that, until recently, has often been misrepresented. – Hot Docs 2020


Mother-Child (Niña Mamá)
dir. Andrea Testa
2019 | Argentina | 65 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020


In Argentina, every three hours a girl under the age of 15 is forced to give birth. While activists work toward the legalization of safe and free abortion, many young women, often victims of poverty and systemic gender violence, must carry their unwanted pregnancies to term. Shot in the intimacy of a public hospital’s consulting rooms, Andrea Testa’s fly-on-the-wall documentary reveals a few of the stories hidden behind the statistics. Finding the right distance from the teenagers’ faces, which she films in sober black and white, the director observes their interactions with the social workers who try to help them navigate complicated family situations, abusive relationships and the overwhelming realities of young motherhood. Caring and non-judgmental, the staff, who can be heard but not seen, encourage them to imagine a hopeful future despite the fragility of their dreams. – Hot Docs


Greatest Country in the World, TheThe Greates Country in the World
dir. Ky Nam Le Duc
2019 | Canada | 112 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Canada

In a province not so distant from ours, now controlled by a far-right government, the borders are closed and immigrants, now under threat, are desperate to get out. A Haitian woman hands over her young son to a thirty-something Quebec man before fleeing. With help from a Vietnamese former refugee, they try to solve the mystery. After Oscillations (FNC 2017), Ky Nam Le Duc here makes further inroads into his quest to diversify our cinematic landscape. A delicately sketched, enigmatic work, chilling in its topicality, where mistrust reigns and love blossoms where you least expect it.


dir. Sam Soko
2020 | Canada / Kenya | 96 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Manitoba

Photographer and activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi prioritizes his family, country and God, but not in that order. Determined to see an end to political corruption and the British-imposed colonial-era tribalism that has divided Kenyans since before the country’s independence, Softie has placed duty to country above all else, to the great frustration of his wife Njeri, mother to their three children. When Softie decides to enter the regional election, telling Njeri only after the decision is made, he raises the stakes and is quickly brought face to face with the consequences. Attempting an honest campaign in a pay-to-play political landscape, Softie is in uncharted territory and is forced to distill his values and morals to their purest form, while grappling with what is truly important. A complex portrait of an honourable man, Softie raises questions about the demands of activism and the intimate costs of social change – Hot Docs