With Canadian borders still closed, let us take you on a quick trip around the world, from Iran and Milwaukee to Shoal Lake 40, Bulgaria, South Africa and… the future!
The films in this program play with the traditional idea of the road as freedom, as a symbol for movement and mobility and progress, as public spaces where folks of any class, race, gender, etc. are free to travel, interact, and congregate on. Between pandemic-induced panic and widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism, our experience of the streets, as sites of social encounter and exchange, has taken on new meanings to many in the last few months. These films remind us that not all people are free.
dir. Maryam Zarei
2019 | Iran / Canada | 18 mins
A family of four live in a wrecking yard. The two kids, Nima and his four-year-old blind sister Tara, spend their time playing around the yard, especially in an old car they have decorated for themselves.
Garden City Beautiful
dir. Ben Balcom
2019 | United States | 12 mins
One sunny afternoon in the middle west, suspended in a time between, two commuters daydream about a life lived otherwise. Adapted from a letter written by Victor Berger in 1895.
Freedom Road: Women / Ikwewag
dir. Angelina McLeod
2019 | Canada | 13 mins
Shoal Lake 40 women talk about their struggles, and those of their parents and grandparents, in trying to raise their families in a hazardous state of enforced isolation. The film shows the key role of the community’s women in demanding funding for the road from three levels of government, and how their reconnection to culture and ceremony give them the strength to keep going.
dir. Nikolay Michaylov
2019 | Canada / Bulgaria | 10 mins
Moments of daily life in Sofia, Bulgaria, are dissonantly juxtaposed with a conversation between the filmmaker and a cousin who lives there in an atypical portrait of a place and its social reality. Sofia studies multiple forms of distance: that between countries, experiences, relatives, and different ways of life and our perceptions of them.
dir. Tebogo Malebogo
2019 | South Africa | 9 mins
Mthunzi is walking home as he sees a lady go into seizures in her driveway ? he is then asked to help carry her into their home by her niece and becomes caught up in a world he does not belong in.
dir. Pixie Cram
2020 | Canada | 13 mins
Two young women journey from the outskirts of the city to a radioactive area deep in the woods. Along the way they encounter a young drifter. As they travel together they are forced to confront their new reality.