In review: Navigating our Shared Canadian Identity
Thank you to everyone who came out our first film night. We were so pleased to have a room full of people interested in film exploring the shared Canadian identity.
The films of Lisa Jackson and Elaine Brière have consistently showcased some of the most challenging aspects of Canadian culture and identity. Jackson’s and Brière’s films open the narrow frame we as a society are commonly presented as our historical and cultural experience. Please join us for a evening of art and film that we anticipate will lead to an engaging question and answer period -where all attending will be able to contribute to a more diverse and coherent understanding of place.
This event was hosted by the SOFIA collective, co-hosted by Kwantlen Fine Arts Department at the Cloverdale Campus (5500 180 Street, Surrey). The films were curated by Surrey-based artist A.S. Dhillon.
Photos by Edward Westerhuis.
Lisa Jackson’s Gemini winning short film, “Savage,” employs historical sets, objects and wardrobe to transport the viewer to the 1940’s, where they are introduced to a young aboriginal girl on the first day she attends residential school. In the accompanied short, “The Overture,” a young aboriginal girl is cleaning a room as a phonograph is playing Italian opera. A European woman in the room translates the opera for the girl. The translation, much like the opera, hangs in the air as a powerful foreshadowing of the girl’s life. Elaine Brière’s, Hot Docs winner for best political documentary, “Bitter Paradise,” is a political journey of a Canadian photographer who goes from the small villages of East Timor to the halls of the United Nations in an effort to understand Canadian policies that had been for the past 30 years heavily supporting General Suharto. The work showcases a number of great interviews, including a young Noam Chomsky and Svend Robinson before they were household names.
Lisa Jackson has a background in documentary filmmaking, which includes Suckerfish, Reservations Soldiers and How a People Live. She expanded into fiction with “Savage,” which won a Genie award for best short film. Her work has played at festivals internationally, aired on CBC, CTV, TMN, Knowledge Network, and SCN. In 2011, she made the beautiful and touching Canadian Film Centre short “Parkdale”. She is currently working on fiction and documentary projects, including writing her first TV script for a teen supernatural series.
Elaine Brière photographs have appeared in countless magazines, books and exhibitions in Japan, Germany Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Her broadcast work has aired on National public television in New Zealand, Switzerland and across Canada and the US. She has reserved grants from Borja du Costa Foundation, Koerener and Bronfman Foundation and a number of Canada Council grants. Her film, Bitter Paradise, won Hot Doc Best Political Documentary in 1997 and her documentary, Betrayed, aired on Knowledge Network and SCN in 2005. She is currently working on her documentary called Dangerous Hope: The Struggle for a Democracy in Haiti.