Friday night is the best night to kick back at home, relax, and watch a movie. You probably choose a comedy; an action movie; heck, maybe even a horror movie. Whatever it is, social issue/human interest documentaries probably aren’t the first thing on your mind.
Cinema Politica is your chance to see these types of films, while engaging in discussions with those who are concerned about these issues.
For over eight years, the city of Fredericton has had the opportunity to see documentaries presented by Cinema Politica.
Tracy Glynn is the organizer of Cinema Politica Fredericton and one of the founders. After living in St. John’s and Halifax, she decided that Fredericton was missing out on the radical documentaries available in those areas.
“A few of us in Fredericton thought it would be a good way of attracting people to our various social environmental justice movements; also, to learn more about social and political issues and what’s happening in the community.”
Movies from the 1970s to present day are shown. With issues ranging from aboriginal rights to the war in Gaza, the film series has managed to always have something worth going to.
“Movies are selected from the Cinema Politica network, so they have a database of films. But in Fredericton, we keep track of what people want to see — what issues or documentaries are of interest.”
On Sept. 19, they presented My Brooklyn. The documentary looked at the gentrification taking place in Brooklyn and how the area has changed on the racial and economic side of things. With only nine people in the audience, it made for great discussion following the film.
Glynn noted that most documentaries, including this one, could be looked at from a local angle.
“The city’s planning doesn’t meet everybody’s needs. The recent transit cuts that the city of Fredericton made while increasing the fares is an example … Also a lot of people have been to New York so that’s another reason why they might want to see this documentary.”
On Friday, Sept. 26, they will be presenting a film on bureaucrat and writer Duncan Campbell Scott. Following the movie, they will have a book launch for Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada. A St. Thomas Native Studies professor, Dr. Roland Chrisjohn, and student, Shaunessy McKay, wrote the book.
Glynn believes that more people should take advantage of Cinema Politica, especially students.
“Students, as well as anybody in the community, should use this to meet other members of the community that are like-minded or may want to organize around an issue they care about. We’re facilitating discussion. Also for students, it may be relevant to things they’re covering in class. I also encourage people to stay for the discussion, because it’s often much better than the film itself.”
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