Education

March Film List

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

With International Women’s Day approaching, inspire the young women (and everyone) in your classroom with this diverse collection of films that place female talent and stories at the forefront.

ANGRY INUK

(85 Min)

We all know about the terrible “brutality” of the Arctic seal hunt — or do we? Turns out there are other sides to this story: it's the story of families that need to be fed, the story of a hunting practice that began centuries ago and the story of a tradition that is central to the economy and food security of Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic. Angry Inuk contains a story that’s over 4,000 years old.

The seal hunt is not exactly a laughing matter, but humour and technical savvy go a long way to debunk certain claims. Wryly tackling both misinformation and aggressive appeals to emotion, Inuk filmmaker Arnaquq-Baril equips herself and her community with the powers of social media — and yes, #sealfies — to reframe a controversial topic as a cultural issue in this 2016 Audience Award–winning Hot Docs hit.

Angry Inuk delivers important information about an issue we tend to think we know everything about, and delivers a powerful emotional punch.”
—Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

ANTIGONE

(109 Min)

In her last year of high school, straight-A student Antigone (Ricci) finds her life suddenly overturned when one of her brothers is murdered by a police officer, while the other is arrested. Having lived in Montreal since arriving as a refugee with her family over a decade ago, Antigone faces a terrible choice. She wants desperately to help her brother in prison, but doing so will not only put her promising future in jeopardy, but also her ability to stay in Canada. As her story becomes a media sensation, Antigone becomes a symbol for a movement of justice, as she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Despite being based on a tragedy over 2,000 years old, Antigone is an urgent and extremely timely story. It was the official Canadian submission for International Feature Film at the Oscars in 2019.

“An intelligent, moving reworking of Sophocles' tragedy, electrified by a breakout turn from star Nahéma Ricci.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

THE BREADWINNER

(94 Min)

Parvana (Saara Chaudry) is an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to be able to get a job and help to support her family. Working alongside her friend Shauzia, Parvana discovers a new world of freedom and danger.

With courage and imagination, Parvana draws strength from the fantastical stories she invents, as she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family. The Breadwinner is an inspiring and beautifully animated tale about the power of stories to sustain hope and carry us through dark times.

The Breadwinner has been nominated for 38 international awards, including six Canadian Screen Awards and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

KAYAK TO KLEMTU

(91 Min)

When a prominent Kitasoo/Xai’Xais activist passes away, his 14-year-old niece Ella (Blaney) embarks on a kayak journey to take his ashes home to Klemtu. It’s a race against the clock as Ella tries to make it back in time to give a speech protesting a proposed pipeline that would cross Indigenous land.

Ella is joined by her aunt, cousin and grumpy uncle (Cardinal), as the four paddle with all their might through the Inside Passage and past the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join this family on the adventure of a lifetime that reflects on the importance of protecting our lands for future generations.

Winner of the 2017 imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award.

MAMAN EST CHEZ LE COIFFEUR

(97 Min)

Nous sommes à l’été 1966. Le soleil brille et le monde regorge de possibilités. Mais pour Élise (Fortier) qui a 15 ans, il y a des problèmes qui fermentent sous la surface de sa joyeuse vie de famille.

Quand une découverte bouleversante pousse sa mère à quitter la famille, tout le monde est abasourdi. Au milieu du chaos, Élise décide que c’est à elle de prendre les choses en main et de résoudre les problèmes. Tandis que son père et ses deux frères se retirent dans leur monde intérieur, Élise ne se décourage pas. Essayant de garder le secret sur les ennuis de sa famille, elle découvre que personne autour d’elle n’a une vie aussi parfaite qu’il n’y paraît à première vue.

Une histoire tendre et touchante de passage à l’âge adulte dans des circonstances difficiles, Maman est chez le coiffeur est un film plein de couleurs riches et vives qui évoquent à merveille les chaudes journées d’été. Ce n’est pas exactement l’été qu’Élise attendait, mais ce sera un été qui ne ressemblera à aucun autre.

MAUDIE

(115 Min)

Maudie is based on the true story of Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis, who overcame the physical challenge of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to become one of Canada's best known and most loved folk artists.

The fragile but determined Maudie (Sally Hawkins) yearns for independence from her over-protective family and dreams of creating art. When she answers an ad for a housekeeper placed by a reclusive fish seller (Ethan Hawke), she gains more than just the freedom she wanted, as the unlikely pair develops a relationship that is intensely intimate and just as challenging.

A touching and inspiring story about following one's dreams in spite of life's obstacles, Maudie is an absolute charmer.

"Maudie breaks your heart with its infectious positivity." – Tomris Laffly, Time Out

MEDITATION PARK

(94 Min)

Meditation Park opens with Maria (Cheng Pei Pei), the matriarch of a Chinese-Canadian family, hosting a birthday celebration for her workaholic husband, Bing, (Tzi Ma), along with her similarly overworked daughter (Sandra Oh in a brilliant performance) and her own family.

Maria clearly reveres Bing and the sacrifices he has made for their family – so when she discovers another woman’s panties in his pocket, she's forced to confront the harsh reality that her world may not be what it seemed.

As Maria wrestles with what to do about her discovery, she befriends a group of local eccentrics and a grumpy neighbour (Don McKellar). Maria’s journey of self-discovery soon teaches her everyone’s lives are more complicated than she has been led to believe.

“Shum mines her favourite theme – immigrant experience in Canada – in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force.” – Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine
 
 

NEW WATERFORD GIRL

(97 Min)

Moonie Pottie (Balaban) is a 15-year-old misfit who will do anything to get out of dreary New Waterford, Nova Scotia. Lou Benzoa (Spencer-Nairn) is a tough girl from the Bronx who couldn’t be happier to be moving to the seaside hamlet.

Lou is as extroverted and impulsive as Moonie is shy and withdrawn, and soon their unlikely friendship starts turning the town upside down. Lou wins over the local girls by punishing their two-timing boyfriends, while Moonie plans a new life in NYC. Hilarious and exuberant, New Waterford Girl paints a touching picture of coming of age in a small town.

The film was nominated for seven Genie Awards.

SABAH

(86 Min)

Sabah (Khanjian) is a sheltered 40-year-old woman who lives with her controlling Muslim family in Toronto. While they are a source of love and support, her widowed mother and conservative brother, Majid (Seymour), are also pretty overbearing.

Sabah is frustrated at home with no means of escape. That is, until she meets non-Muslim Stephen (Doyle), who awakens her long-lost desire for independence and romance. Soon, Sabah is having a whirlwind cross-cultural affair that she must hide from her family.

Ruba Nadda’s witty and timely love story breathes new life into a classic tale of family, tradition, cultural difference and love.

WATER

(114 Min)

Set in India during the rise of Mahatma Gandhi, Water recounts the story of Chuyia (Kariyawasam), a child bride. When her husband dies suddenly, Chuyia is forced to live in an ashram for Hindu widows, essentially cut off from society.

Fortunately, she finds friends in the beautiful Kilyani (Ray) and in the forward-thinking Narayan (Abraham). With their help, Chuyia attempts to escape the confines of her existence. Boasting lush visuals, Water could easily be a bleak story of deprivation and loss, but in Mehta’s gentle hands, it becomes one charged with hope and optimism.

Water was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

WINDOW HORSES

(88 Min)

This extraordinary animated feature tells the tale of Rosie, a young Canadian poet of Chinese and Persian descent. Rosie lives in Vancouver with her Chinese grandparents and dreams of travelling and seeing the world. 

When she receives an invitation to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, Rosie embarks on a journey that unravels a personal mystery and brings her closer to her Persian roots. 

Voiced by an all-star cast including Sandra Oh, Ellen Page and Don McKellar, Window Horses is a beautiful and poignant story about family, imagination, culture and finding your own voice. 

"This is not just a visual treat, it's a rewarding and unexpectedly engrossing piece of female-led storytelling." – Wendy Ide, Screen International 

THE WORLD BEFORE HER

(90 Min)

Ruhi Singh is on her way to Bombay to participate in an intense beauty boot camp as a contestant in the Miss India pageant, a surefire launching pad to fame in a country of 1.2 billion people. 

Meanwhile, just a few hours away, Prachi Trivedi works at a very different kind of camp – one run by a militant Hindu nationalist group, where young girls are trained to combat western influences. 

Moving between the two camps, this lively and provocative documentary paints a portrait of a nation in transformation. A study in contrasts on the one hand, the film also reveals disturbing similarities in the obstacles that each woman faces as she tries to have an impact on her society.

The World Before Her won Best Canadian Feature at the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival. 

Francophone Week

This month also includes Francophone Week (La semaine de la francophonie!), and we’ve got an exciting collection of French-language Canadian films to help you celebrate. Whether you’re teaching French immersion, core French, or just want to mix things up in your English-language classroom – bon visionnement!

BON COP BAD COP

(116 Min)

A box-office smash, Bon Cop, Bad Cop is an action-packed comedy about two policemen who are thrown together to solve a crime committed on the border between Quebec and Ontario.

Ward (Feore) and Boucher (Huard) couldn’t be more different: one is an English-speaker from Toronto, the other is a French-speaker from Montreal; one never deviates from established procedure, the other is a rebel who refuses to play by the rules. The detectives soon learn that if they are to solve this lurid crime, which is linked to the world of hockey, they need to stop bickering and work together.

With uproarious performances from both leads, Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a genuinely clever take on the buddy-cop genre that will keep you captivated throughout.

LOUIS CYR: L’HOMME LE PLUS FORT DU MONDE

(123 Min)

À la fin du 19e siècle, après avoir diverti les foules pendant des années avec sa force herculéenne, Louis Cyr était considéré comme l'homme le plus fort du monde. Inspiré de son histoire, ce charmant film biographique raconte ses nombreux exploits, ses peines et les nombreux obstacles — à l'intérieur comme à l'extérieur de l'arène — qu'il a dû surmonter lors de son ascension de l'anonymat à la renommée internationale.

Le meilleur ami de Louis raconte cette histoire à la fille de l'homme fort qui a coupé les ponts avec son père. De l'enfance misérable de Louis à sa carrière au cirque qui a connu des hauts et des bas, ce film nous fait découvrir la vie fascinante de ce héros québécois.

Film le plus lucratif de l'année 2013 au Québec, Louis Cyr a remporté deux prix Écrans canadiens et neuf prix Jutra, dont celui du Meilleur film.

MAURICE RICHARD

(124 Min)

Le film Maurice Richard porte à l’écran l’ascension fulgurante du légendaire jouer d’hockey Maurice Richard (Dupuis), de ses humbles débuts de mécanicien à Montréal pendant la Grande Dépression jusqu’à son statut de joueur vedette des Canadiens de Montréal et de meilleur compteur de tous les temps.

Mais Maurice Richard est bien plus qu’un simple film sur le sport. Le réalisateur Charles Binamé campe l'histoire dans un contexte culturel : Richard — un homme taciturne — ne trouve sa voie que lorsqu’il commence à dire ce qu’il pense des inégalités et des préjugés à l’égard des Canadiens français.

Nombreux sont ceux qui pensent que les émeutes provoquées par la suspension de Richard en 1955 ont été l'étincelle qui a alimenté la Révolution tranquille au Québec. Cette superproduction sur le hockey est remplie de cœur et d’histoire.

MENTEUR

(111 Min)

Simon est un menteur pathologique. Ses amis et ses parents en ont assez et ils essaient de le confronter avec une grande intervention, mais celui-ci refuse d’admettre qu’il a vraiment un problème. Son monde est entièrement basculé lorsqu’il se réveille un jour dans une réalité alternative où tous les mensonges et les excuses qu’il a racontés se manifestent. Son patron est un ivrogne, sa belle-soeur a un béguin pour lui et tout ce que l’on peut imaginer de pire se produit. 

Tout le monde d'autre semble croire que cette nouvelle réalité est absolument normale, sauf son frère qui le connaît que la seul facon de regler cette situation loufoque est d'arrêter de mentir pour toujours. Menteur, la nouvelle comédie d'Émile Gaudrault (De père en flic), est autant drôle qu’elle est unique et fut un grand succès à la billetterie. 

 

Francophone Week (Elementary Schools)

THE LITTLE BEAR MOVIE

(75 Min)

While on a camping trip, Little Bear and his father find a lost cub who has been separated from his parents by a storm. The two become fast friends, and after Cub saves Little Bear from a mountain lion named Trouble, the pair return to Little Bear’s house to meet his pals Cat, Owl, Duck and Hen. The group of friends set out on an exciting adventure to find Cub’s parents.

Based on the beloved book series by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, The Little Bear Movie is a rollicking adventure story, full of the joys and responsibilities of friendship and teamwork.

LA COURSE DES TUQUES (RACETIME)

(89 Min)

Racetime is the sequel to the highly successful animated film Snowtime!, which was the highest-grossing film in Canada in 2015.

This fun and action-packed sequel is a wild romp through the trials and tribulations, passionate joys and little victories of childhood. Frankie and Sophie are teaming up for a spectacular sled race through the village, and this time they’ve got some new friends along for the ride, including the mysterious Zac and his musical cousin Charly.

LA MYSTÉRIEUSE MADEMOISELLE C. (THE MYSTERIOUS MISS C.)

(108 Min)

The newest supply teacher at St-Cécile Elementary School, known only as Miss C, is undeniably unusual. This was apparent from the moment she arrives at the school, soaked from head to toe while speaking to a small rock. With her boundless spirit and unparalleled imagination, Miss C. reinvigorates her class of students, and the school as a whole, by encouraging every child to embrace what makes them unique.

Based on the popular children’s book series, The Mysterious Miss C. is a fun and heartwarming story that encourages kids to be positive, to use their imagination and to discover the joy of reading.

AVRIL ET LE MONDE TRUQUÉ (APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD)

(105 Min)

It’s 1941 in an alternative history of Europe, where pollution has ravaged the world and technology has not progressed since the steam engine. A brilliant teenage girl named April (voiced by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard), who lives on the streets of Paris, has been trying to find her parents, scientists who disappeared while working on a top secret project. Her search lands her deep in a sinister criminal plot. Luckily, she is joined on her adventure by her grandfather, her talking cat Darwin and a mysterious boy named Julius. Together, this band of unlikely heroes might just save the world.

Crafted in stunning animation, this imaginative adventure story will thrill audiences of all ages.

“The movie so teems with delightful detail and has such an exuberant sense of play that it feels entirely fresh” – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times